The Spanish Navy has successfully deployed the Saab-built Skeldar V-200 Maritime unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) aboard the Buques de Acción Marítima (BAM)-class patrol vessel Meteoro (P-41).

Skeldar will provide surveillance capabilities for the Spanish Navy during the EU Atalanta operation off the Gulf of Aden.

Earlier this year, Saab received a contract to provide services for the Skeldar V-200 system aboard a Spanish Navy offshore patrol vessel in operation Atalanta.

The V-200 medium-range vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aerial system (UAS) has been designed to conduct instant battle damage assessment and control of indirect fire as well as to provide logistics support and ship-to-ship or ship-to-land transfers in rough weather conditions.

Saab Product Area Tactial UAS director Mikael Franzén said the Skeldar UAS will be operated with a manned helicopter to boost the surveillance capabilities of the vessel during its mission to fight piracy as part of the EU Atalanta operation in the Gulf of Aden.

"The unmanned system can fly at a maximum altitude of 4,500m for five hours."

"Since signing the first contact we are seeing an increasing interest for Skeldar where more and more potential customers are discovering Skeldar’s unique strengths and features, including air worthiness, heavy fuel engine, high performance and operational capability," Franzén said.

Equipped with a wide range of payloads, including surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition and 3D mapping, the system can be used for both civil and military purposes.

The unmanned system can fly at a maximum altitude of 4,500m for five hours and can cruise at a maximum speed of 130km/h, using two-cylinder, in-line, two-stroke, liquid cooled internal combustion engine, with a mission radius of more than 100km.

Prior to the Atalanta deployment, the V-200 UAS has undergone integration trials on-board the (BAM)-class patrol vessel Relámpago (P-43), off the Canary Islands.

Defence Technology