23 Feb 17. GIDS moves to enhance Shahpar, develop MALE. Pakistan’s Global Industry and Defence Solutions (GIDS) is in the process of enhancing the capabilities of its Shahpar unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and working to develop a larger system.
Speaking to Jane’s at IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi, Asad Kamal, GIDS’ director of sales and marketing, said that enhancements to the Shahpar tactical UAV will focus on the introduction of a new powerplant.
The aircraft is currently equipped with a four-cylinder, four-stroke Rotax 912 ULS unit, developing 100hp; the new, more powerful engine will also be sourced from overseas, Kamal said.
Pakistan’s military currently operates two systems procured from European manufacturers – the Luna and Falco. Kamal said that as indigenous capabilities progress these will be phased out of service and the enhancements to the Shahpar are part of that process.
Shahpar provides a tactical-level intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability and does not feature an offensive capability – unlike the Pakistan military’s other tactical system, the Burraq, which is manufactured by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM). The aircraft features a canard and swept-wing configuration with a pusher propeller, a belly-mounted gimballed payload, and a tricycle undercarriage.
The aircraft has a payload capacity of 50kg, an endurance of more than 7 hours, a ceiling of 17,000ft, and the ability to operate to a range of 250km via its standard datalink.
Development of a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) system, Kamal said, is a logical step for GIDS as the company looks to enhance its and Pakistan’s capabilities in the field of UAVs. The effort is in its early stages and the company is awaiting more information from the military as to what its requirements might be.
Elsewhere GIDS is developing an enhanced version of its Zumr-1 electro-optical/infrared ISR payload. The Zumr-2 is set to complete testing at the end of the year and among other improvements will introduce a laser designator; however, with a projected weight of around 32kg, it will be roughly the same as the earlier model, which weighs 30kg. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Feb 17. The US Navy has chosen Mayport, Florida, as the East Coast base for its MQ-4C Triton UAV. Naval Station Mayport will be the East Coast Forward Operating Base, according to a Navy news release.
“Mayport will be a permanent duty station for about 400 Triton UAS personnel and will support rotational deployments outside the continental United States,” the Navy said. “Facility construction will begin this year with the first Triton UAS scheduled to arrive in 2020.”
The Triton uses a “remote split” system, where the crews of squadron Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19, or VUP-19, that operate the East Coast UAVs will be based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, while the unmanned aircraft and their maintenance crews operate out of Mayport.
“As the east coast FOB, Mayport will be the launch and recovery site for four forward-based MQ-4C Triton UAS aircraft and consolidated maintenance hub for up to four additional aircraft,” the Navy said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
23 Feb 17. UMS Skeldar Delivers First Skeldar V-200 to Indonesia. Designer and manufacturer of high endurance RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems), UMS SKELDAR has announced its working partnership and the commencement of a training programme contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Indonesia.
The MoD of the Republic of Indonesia deployed the SKELDAR V-200 as part of performance and acceptance tests during Q4 2016, paving the way for the procurement and pilot training in Indonesia. With the world’s second longest coastlines, the tests and patrol evaluations confirmed the multi-payload and low footprint of the SKELDAR V-200 across land and navy applications.
Jakob Baumann, CEO and Delegate of the Board at UMS SKELDAR, highlighted the significance of the contract and stressed the