Europe’s UMS SKELDAR has successfully conducted automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) of a tactical UAV from a ship.
While full ATOL capability on land is a native characteristic of the SKELDAR V-200, the company claims it is the first to achieve this unique ATOL compliance milestone in a naval setting. In recognition of its value as part of a ship’s future capability requirements, this latest development is currently being tested by NATO customers.
Previously, platforms have operated in assisted mode with a crew manually overseeing take-off and landing via a joystick or computer control. Now, full ATOL capability enables both take-off and landing to be performed through the simple press of a button. The platform uses a laser altimeter and GPS combination to track its location and calculate the required altitude reduction, culminating in a smooth and safe landing.
“This latest milestone for UMS SKELDAR is a real first: it is unique to our company and it has never before been achieved in a military setting,” said David Willems, VP Business Development and Strategy for UMS SKELDAR. “The SKELDAR V-200 was conceived as a maritime platform and this exciting achievement secures its place as the first choice for Navy commanders.”
In addition to this new capability, the SKELDAR V-200 continues to undergo both software and hardware developments to ensure continued improvement and maximum capability for customers. “We are focused on the continued improvement of both SKELDAR UAV platforms,” added Willems. “Our ongoing modernisation programmes aim to not only review the platforms’ capabilities, but also analyse customer requirements with a view to increasing the service suite we provide alongside.”
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