Lacking reliable launch and retrieval capabilities, particularly in high sea states and strong winds, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) often support maritime forces from shore, relying on large, long endurance platforms that can carry multiple payloads, including maritime search radar. The Tekever Group is introducing a new, lightweight shipborne UAV – the AR3 NET-RAY, a small drone with an empty weight of 14 kg, designed to carry 8 Kg payload. The new version of AR3 NET-RAY increases its payload capacity by 33%, with the main purpose of providing customers with the option to carry a radar with effective range of 25 nautical miles.
The previous maritime variant weighs 12 kg and could carry six kg payloads, comprising EO and wide area surveillance systems. The new drone that is currently undergoing testing will be able to perform missions with more than 10 hour endurance. It can be launched by catapult and retrieved with a net, operating from small vessels, providing an easily deployable range extender for maritime platforms.
The Tekever Group is building up a UAS program to perform multiple types of near shore and maritime missions, including search and rescue, surveillance, illegal fisheries control, maritime patrol and pollution detection, among others. The program is a result of the close cooperation between Tekever and the Portuguese Navy.
SOURCE – Defense Update