Small and lightweight unmanned air systems (UAS) afford significant operational advantages. UK-based Swarm Systems Ltd (SSL, Stand N3-597) will this week announce the entry of its Owl 4 UAS into the sub-250g sector.
The Owl 4 is designed to be carried in the pouches of the operator’s combat vest and is configured for the ‘flying binoculars’ mission enabling the operator to see ‘around the corner’ and ‘over the hill’, according to the company.
The Owl 4 is considered to be the lightest available in its class and comprises the air vehicle and a chest-mounted ground control system (GCS).
Deployed in 30 seconds, the air vehicle has the camera stability of a quad-rotor, with both its electro-optic and infrared cameras on a stabilised gimbal.
Classed as a nano-UAS or ‘soldier-borne sensor’ in the sub-250g category, it is recognised by the aviation authorities in the USA, the European Union, China and others as intrinsically safe to operate. Therefore, dismounted soldiers can operate the Owl 4 immediately, without waiting for airspace clearance and losing operational tempo.
SSL has thoroughly trialled the Owl 4 air vehicle, including 1,000 impact tests, and has also partnered with Juggernaut Defense of Scottsdale, Arizona, to use custom variants of its Juggernaut.Case products to protect the air vehicle and GCS.
The company has export permission for 34 countries and expects to receive permission for an additional 100 countries.
‘‘Our target is to achieve export sales of Owl 4 in 20 countries by the end of 2018,’’ said Jonathan Selbie, director of SSL.