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DSEI 2023: UMS Skeldar and Ultra Maritime unveil UAS-based ASW solution

The new ASW sonobuoy dispensing capability, unveiled at DSEI in London, is based on the Skeldar V-200 vertical take-off and landing UAS. (Janes/Kate Tringham)

UMS Skeldar and Ultra Maritime have jointly developed a new anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sonobuoy dispensing capability for rotary-winged unmanned aircraft systems (UASs).

The new capability, which is based on the Skeldar V-200 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAS, was displayed for the first time at the DSEI 2023 exhibition in London.

It enables the Skeldar V-200 UAS to be used to deploy sonobuoys to track potentially hostile submarines in the open ocean or close to coastal areas that could pose a threat to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) or other forces.

The UAS-based ASW solution was developed by the two companies under a second-phase contract awarded by the Canadian Department of National Defence's Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) programme in October 2022, which followed initial proof-of-concept studies completed during 2021.

Under the phase two contract, which is nearing completion, the two companies evaluated the feasibility of deploying sonobuoys from a Skeldar V-200 UAS to track potentially hostile submarines operating in Canadian waters.

Work included conducting structural installation work on the UAS to be able to integrate launch tubes onto the platform as well as a sonobuoy receiver. A significant aspect of this process involved working out the best possible position to install the launch tubes without affecting the platform's centre of gravity or being in the way of the landing skids.

โ€œThis is a role-fit payload,โ€ Andrew Anderson, chief technology officer at Ultra Maritime, told Janes

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