SINGAPORE: New UAV partnership ups Skeldar appeal
Recently established unmanned air vehicle joint venture UMS Skeldar believes it will be able to boost the competitiveness of the Saab Skeldar unmanned helicopter over rival systems.
In December it was announced that UMS and Saab’s UAV division would jointly promote Skeldar through the new business, alongside the former’s range of rotary- and fixed-wing platforms, which head of business development David Willems says will enhance the appeal of the family of aircraft.
Willems says that the pricing structure will be modified for Skeldar, which will “put us in a very competitive bracket”. Systems with a similar capability to Skeldar include the Schiebel Camcopter and CybAero Apid UAVs.
UMS Skeldar offers the 3h-endurance R350 rotary-wing UAV in addition to Skeldar and the F330 and F720 fixed-wing designs.
The R350 has seen success in Europe, while the fixed-wing models have been used in the Middle East, Willems says.
It will also look to provide UAVs on a service basis and for training, as “budgets are shrinking everywhere, and services contracts are a good way to target the market”, Willems adds.
The company announced during the show that it will begin to provide training in Indonesia, and previous successes include offering data services to Singapore’s police force.
In addition, the joint venture will pursue military opportunities, says Willems. “There are some big navy tenders in Asia and Europe and we are involved in the tenders right now,” he says.
The R350 is also being pitched to a government agency in China, a market that the Apid UAV has seen success in.
Work is underway to integrate Skeldar into the common ground control station used by the other three systems, Willems says.