If all goes well as 2010 winds down, Saab will sign on the first customer for its Skeldar vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle, the company says.

The medium-range UAV, with its 40kg (88lb) payload capacity and 5h-endurance is primarily aimed at surveillance, intelligence-gathering and electronic warfare. Payloads can easily be swapped out in 10-15min, Saab says.

The family of Skeldar UAVs was designed with a particular eye to counter-improvised explosive device missions, says Stefan Nygren, Saab’s business director for UAV systems. Its sensors have the ability to tether to a moving object, such as a lead car in a convoy, and then autonomously follow it at a set distance or speed. A maritime version of Skeldar is also in the works.

The V200 version is slightly longer than the original V150 design, but Saab will also have on offer a pint-sized version in 2011 – the V125. This will be about half the size and capacity of the V200.

 Skeldar - Saab
© Saab

Nygren says the Skeldar family will expand further in 2016 with the V600. Aimed at filling land and maritime requirements for a large VTOL UAV, the Skeldar V600 will have an 8h endurance, a 100kg payload capacity and a 600kg maximum take-off weight.

Source: Flight International