08 November 2017

Sky Scout Designed for Thai Skies

08 November 2017


Sky Scout UAV (photo : Shephard)

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has begun the process of inducting an indigenously produced tactical UAV known as the Sky Scout suitable for training, surveillance and operations other than war.

RV Connex, Sky Scout’s developer, was selected by the RTAF to develop the UAV in November 2016. Three aircraft have been handed over to the air force to date out of a total requirement approaching nearly 20.

An operational test and evaluation is set to occur early next year. Deliveries have already started even though some steps of the time-consuming certification process are yet to take place.

Speaking to Shephard at Defense & Security 2017, Peeraphon Trakulchang, managing director of RV Connex, said his firm was created a year ago after separating from Avia, a Thai firm in which Saab held a stake.

The ‘parent’ of the Sky Scout is thus Avia’s Black Kite II displayed at Defense & Security 2015, as its technology contributed to the latter’s development. However, the Sky Scout is twice the size with a wingspan of 6.2m and maximum take-off weight of 140kg.

The maiden flight occurred in the first quarter of 2017 and, by using hardware-in-the-loop simulations, the design team was able to reduce the number of test flights.

Only the two-stroke 25hp boxer engine and communications suite are imported, the rest of the aircraft being produced or sourced within Thailand.

The Sky Scout is more capable than the Tiger Shark II operated by the RTAF. It can fly more than 100km, has an endurance of 6+ hours and a cruise speed of 120km/h. Communications with the truck-mounted ground control station is via C-band, while UHF provides a backup.

While the Sky Scout has export potential, particularly in the Southeast Asian region, Trakulchang said that his company is planning even more advanced UAVs in the future.

RV Connex has also continued development of the RVE-1 UGV for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), previously referred to as THER when it was exhibited two years ago under the Avia brand.

The RVE-1 now has a better control interface, special program models for tasks such as climbing stairs and the ability to drop repeaters to enhance communications in cluttered urban environments.

RVE-1 is fully developed and is in a test phase by the Thai military. The aim is to procure locally developed robots that are cheaper than those imported from overseas. One source said that Thai personnel can sometimes be afraid to use these in-service robots out of fear of damaging or destroying such expensive assets.

Especially in the south of the country, the Thai military has been facing a violent insurgency that commonly uses bombs and improvised explosive devices (IED). Each military service has its own requirements for an EOD robot, so RV Connex has designed the RVE-1 to accept different payloads.

Payloads can therefore be changed in a hot swap without having to shut down the robot. The regular manipulator arm can be exchanged for a shorter one with greater lifting power, an EO/IR camera with gimbal, or a gun turret.

The 27kg tracked UGV has a speed of 8km/h and it can even drag a 1t vehicle. It can operate for four hours, or two hours at full load. Interestingly, the system can even float and swim in water.

Trakulchang said his company has also developed a smaller man-portable EOD robot weighing less than 5kg. The four-wheeled UGV is designed for soldiers in the field who may not want to or be able to wait for an EOD team to arrive.

The smaller robot does not have all the functionality of the REV-1, but it can use a water jet against a suspicious device, for example. The critical design review for this small robot was successfully passed and it is being readied for future production.

(Shephard)

4 komentar:

  1. Comelnya...Good job thailand,tampaknya thailand mengejar ketertinggalan militernya dari indonesia

    BalasHapus
  2. macam aerostar tni.....kesian malaysia tak de wang

    BalasHapus
  3. Lah kok komennya ilang 3? Pada kemana tuh 3 komen???

    BalasHapus
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    BalasHapus