Saab flies its new Skeldar UAS

The vertical-lift autonomous aircraft, made with composite materials, was flown in both Sweden and the U.S. to verify key systems.

Defence and security company Saab (Stockholm, Sweden) has verified a number of key capabilities of its Skeldar V-200 vertical lift UAS through flight campaigns at different sites in the U.S. and Sweden, demonstrating the system’s performance for both land and sea-based operations. A number of successful customer demonstration flights have also been conducted.

High-complexity flight envelopes such as fully autonomous flights were conducted in both day and night conditions, demonstrating the aircraft's capabilitites. In addition, a heavy fuel engine has now been verified through extensive flight trials and an upgraded next-generation version of the original design aviation fuel engine has been delivered and is now cleared for flight test. Saab confirms that the entire fuselage and load-bearing tail is fabricated with composites, as well as some internal components.

“The Skeldar V-200 has passed yet another important milestone in the program with these key capabilities verified and demonstrated to various customers,”says Mikael Franzén, director of Saab’s product area tactical UAS. The unmanned system’s built-in safety functionality confirmed contingency behaviors in case of link loss, including autonomous navigation in accordance to predefined parameters as well as auto landing and shut down.

“The combination of two alternative engine types, a modular payload design, and the ability to incorporate and utilize a variety of data link systems, provides a true multi-mission capability for the Skeldar V-200 and a flexibility that enables the customer to successfully meet their mission objectives on land or at sea,” concludes Franzén.