Evaluating Unmanned Aerial Systems for ASW Sonobuoy Dispensing

Ultra Maritime and UMS SKELDAR will develop a Rotary Wing Unmanned Aerial System that the Royal Canadian Navy can use to deploy sonobuoys for the purpose of tracking potentially hostile submarines By DA Staff / 20 Oct 2022
Ultra and UMS receive ASW contract
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Ultra Maritime (Ultra) and UMS SKELDAR will explore the development of a Rotary Wing Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to provide an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) sonobuoy dispensing capability based on the SKELDAR V-200 UAS. 

This second phase contract was awarded to the companies as part of the Department of National Defence (DND)’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program. The program will review how a medium-sized UAS can be used to deploy sonobuoys for the purpose of tracking potentially hostile submarines operating in the open ocean or close to coastal areas that could pose a threat to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) or other forces. 

The SKELDAR V-200 has advanced intelligence-gathering capabilities when equipped with multiple sensors. Flight times can exceed six hours, and the heavy-fuel engine combined with efficient maintenance procedures and ease of access to the engine compartment allow for highly efficient routine service processes.

“We are constantly reviewing new technologies to determine how they can be used to tackle the threat from hostile submarines,” said Andrew Anderson, Chief Technology Officer, Ultra Sonar Systems. “The scope of this program is to evaluate the technical and operational feasibility of deploying sonobuoys from a Class II Rotary Wing UAS, to provide the warfighter with another tool in the ASW toolbox.”

“We are delighted to be a part of this contract with Ultra,” said Richard Hjelmberg, Vice President Business Development for UMS SKELDAR. “Using Rotary Unmanned Aircraft Systems to help conduct ASW will provide many benefits, not least enabling rapid deployment capabilities, a smaller logistical footprint on Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) ships and a cost-effective alternative to current methods. At UMS we are proud of our innovation leadership when it comes to advances in rotary-wing UAS platforms. Our SKELDAR V-200 platform is a prime example of this, with a capability of completing remote automatic flights, exceeding six-hour flight times thanks to the robust heavy fuel engine and the ability to provide a high degree of maintainability and minimum turn-around times. These credentials we believe are the perfect fit for this program.”

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