Brazil-based Flight Solutions is to unveil a new medium tactical unmanned air vehicle at this week's Latin American Aerospace and Defence exhibition in Rio de Janeiro. The FS-01 Watchdog is the first of three UAV types planned by the company and could be ready for low-volume production from late this year.

Already flying in prototype form, the FS-01 has been derived from a design developed by Belo Horizonte's University of Minas Gerais during 2005. Flight Solutions - a joint venture between Flight Technologies and Advanced Composites Solutions - says it last year "integrated the rest of the system creating a product suited for several civil and military missions".

Flight Solutions claims the pusher-configuration, composite design is the first Brazilian UAV matured to a production-ready standard "with proprietary technology". The FS-01 has a 4.7m (15.4ft) wingspan, an operational ceiling of 20,000ft and a 25kg (55lb) payload. Operational radius will be 70km (38nm) and cruise speed 103kt (190km/h).

The company is also developing the 3kg hand-launched, electrically powered FS-02 and a 240kg helicopter dubbed the FS-03 Starcopter, which will have a 113kg payload and an operational radius of 250km.

Source: Flight International