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Flight Solutions ready to unleash Watchdog medium tactical UAV

Brazil-based Flight Solutions is to unveil a new tactical UAV at the Latin American Aerospace and Defence (LAAD) exhibition in Rio de Janeiro 17-20 April.

The FS-01 Watchdog system is the first of three UAV types planned by the company and is expected to be ready for low-volume production from late this year. An FS-01 prototype is already flying.

FS-01 is based on a design developed by Belo Horizonte’s University of Minas Gerais during 2005. Flight Solutions says that it “integrated the rest of the system creating a product suited for several civil and military missions” during the course of 2006. The pusher configuration airframe is all-composite and uses a modular approach enabling rapid disassembly and reassembly for transport and storage. Span is 4.7m (15.4ft)

The UAV has close visual similarities to the Aerostar system produced by Israeli firm Aeronautics Defense Systems. Flight Solutions says its design represents the first Brazilian UAV matured to a production-ready standard “with proprietary technology”.

The UAV has a cruise speed of 102kt (190km/h), an operational radius of 70km (38nm) and a maximum operational ceiling of 20,000ft (6,100m). Payload capacity is placed at 25kg (55lb).

Flight Solutions, located in San Jose, is a joint venture between Brazilian-firms Flight Technologies and Advanced Composites Solutions.As well as FS-01 the company is developing a hand-launched, electrically powered system designated FS-02. That UAV will have a 2.1m span and a maximum take-off weight of 3kg. Payload capacity is forecast at 0.7kg.

The third system, designated the FS-03 Starcopter, is a 240kg maximum take-off weight helicopter. The UAV would be capable of carrying a 113kg payload and have an operational radius of 250km. Flight Solutions says the design would have a 5.48m main rotor and an all-up length of 6.1m.

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