UAVs fly in from Vietnam [ID18D3]

09 November 2018

Viettel (Hall B, Stand B095) is here showing for the first time outside of Vietnam the Shikra UAV, a 26kg aircraft with a 3.25m wingspan that takes off vertically before transitioning into horizontal flight.

The company says that customers plan to begin operating Shikra from land, but it is expected that it will eventually expand this to ship-based operations, enabled by the vertical take-off and landing electric motors on the UAV.

This variant has a two-hour endurance, but the company is planning the development of two more versions, one with a 5-6m wingspan that will be able to operate for 10 hours, and one with a 20m wingspan that will be able to operate for 20 hours at ranges up to 150km.

Shikra and the mid-sized system have line-of-sight operations, while the larger one will be satellite communications controlled and fully autonomous.

The largest one is entering development now, and will be ready in the coming years, Than Hoang Ha, sales executive for the company's Viettel Aerospace Institute, told the Show Daily.

Newer versions will have a new composite structure and more efficient powerplants, he added, noting that all of the design work is Vietnamese.

The company also has its Hummer quadcopter UAV on display, a system with a one-hour endurance, 10km range and 1kg payload capacity.

(217 words)