15 April 2021
by Pat Host
Martin UAV and its V-Bat 128 vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) tail-sitting fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) beat L3Harris and its FVR-90 VTOL hybrid quadcopter in the US Navy’s (USN’s) Mi2 Technology Demonstration unmanned aircraft effort.
USN spokesperson Brittany Dickerson said on 15 April that the service intends to award a non-federal acquisition regulation (FAR)-based prototyping contract to Martin UAV in July and that contract negotiations are ongoing. This award is based on the results of a Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD)-sponsored Phase 2 live demonstration event that ended in December 2020 at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, the US Navy’s Innovation and Modernization Patuxent River (IMPAX) division announced on 12 April.
Martin UAV’s V-Bat unmanned VTOL aircraft on its recent counter narcotics mission with US Southern Command. Martin UAV and its V-Bat 128 edged out L3Harris and its FVR-90 to win the US Navy’s Mi2 Technology Demonstration competition. (Martin UAV)
Dickerson said that Martin UAV will initially provide three complete systems, including the air vehicle and control system, as part of this OT prototype project. Ongoing negotiations, she said, will determine the final number of aircraft for delivery supporting command prototyping efforts.
NAWCAD AIRWorks estimated in a 24 July 2020 question and answer document that a potential OT prototyping effort following the technology demonstration would include delivery of six air vehicles, four ground-control stations (GCS), and peripherals and spares within five months of the prototyping OT award. The USN is procuring an innovative variant of the V-Bat for further prototype development that meets the service’s requirements.
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Martin UAV and its V-Bat 128 vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) tail-sitting fixed-wing unmanned ae...