Air Platforms

ST Kinetics pursues weaponised multirotor UAV development

06 March 2018
ST Kinetics aims to complete development of its Stinger Unmanned Aerial Multi-Rotor Gunship by the end of 2019. Pictured is a concept model armed with the company’s Ultimax 100 Mk8 light machine gun. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

ST Kinetics, the land systems and speciality vehicles arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) has commenced development of weaponised tactical air and ground vehicles with the aim of demonstrating advanced prototypes by the end of 2019.

The company has commenced work on the Stinger Unmanned Aerial Multi-Rotor Gunship, which is envisioned to be a semi-autonomous, company-level reconnaissance and fire-support platform that will take the form of a modular, 60 kg-class multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It will be designed for ease of transportation and assembly by dismounted troops.

Although in the nascent stages of development, ST Kinetics engineers told Jane’s that they are aiming for an endurance of more than 30 minutes when the Stinger is carrying its full range of mission payloads, which will include high-definition daylight and thermal imaging cameras, a fire-control system (FCS), and a primary armament comprising the company’s latest 5.56x45 mm calibre Ultimax 100 Mk8 light machine gun (LMG).

The Ultimax 100 Mk8 is a 5 kg, gas-operated weapon with an effective range of 460 m and 800 m respectively when firing the M193 and NATO SS109 cartridges. A key feature of the weapon is its patented constant recoil capability, which slows the recoil force over the entire period between two rounds firing on cyclic rate, resulting in a lower, steadier recoil impulse. According to ST Kinetics, the low-recoil characteristics of the Ultimax 100 Mk8, combined with the Stinger’s stabilised weapon mount, enables it to deliver aimed fire with increased accuracy.

“We have conducted a number of trials, which included live firing evolutions, that validated the feasibility of the concept in 2017 and are now moving into full-scale development,” a company spokesperson told Jane’s , noting that the Stinger will carry a 100 rd drum magazine to improve its staying power during prolonged engagements.

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