Portuguese unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer Tekever (Stand N2-830) has been awarded a contract from the UK Ministry of Defence to demonstrate the ability of its AR4 to be operated from a manned platform. The ultimate aim of the project is for the British Army to assess the potential for a UAV to be operated from a helicopter, but this first phase will see it controlled from an armoured vehicle.
Contracted in recent weeks, the testing will fall under the auspices of the Army Warfighting Experiment and will take place in the first half of 2020. It will involve Tekever introducing enhanced processing into the UAV’s command and control system in order to enable the manned-unmanned teaming.
The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency has also issued a tender in recent weeks seeking information on UAVs that could support the various operations that fall under its remit, to which Tekever has submitted an offer. A response from the government is expected imminently. This requirement is along the same lines as work underway in support of the European Maritime Safety Agency, under which a number of UAV companies are carrying out contracted services in support of missions, including pollution and fishery monitoring, of which Tekever is one. It is using the twin-engine AR5 to support this project, having flown from Portugal and Spain during previous phases of the operations. AR5 will also be used in the RAPSODY project, which will test the application of unmanned aerial systems in a maritime context.
Additionally, the company has recently been supporting wildfire monitoring missions in Indonesia with the AR4, and has been carrying out work under the EU’s Single European Sky ATM Research project’s SAFIR effort that is exploring the future requirements for unmanned ATM.
Both the AR4 and AR5 are on display during the show.