UMS SKELDAR has announced that, following major contract wins and in line with its global expansion strategy, it has teamed up with international outsource manufacturing contractor Scanfil to ramp up the volume production capability of its rotary SKELDAR V-200 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
The announcement represents a significant boost to production of the NATO-compliant heavy-fuel SKELDAR V-200, according to Axel Cavalli-Bjorkman, CEO of UMS SKELDAR, the joint venture between Saab and UMS AERO GROUP: “The rationale for contracting out volume production was compelling, and based on more than a year of collaboration where our engineers and production team have worked closely with Scanfil to ensure that all technical aspects have been taken into account.”
“We have been extremely impressed by the professionalism and the rigorous standards across the production team. This close relationship is a true partnership of expertise and importantly provides us with immediate volume production as we progress our world navy strategy in parallel to expansion of our service offering globally.”
The VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) SKELDAR V-200 and its variants will be produced at Scanfil’s manufacturing facility at Åtvidaberg, just 30 kilometers south of UMS SKELDAR’s Swedish base in Linköping, ensuring efficient communications and logistics.
According to UMS SKELDAR, the German Navy contract is seen by many as a template for best practice in rotary UAV VTOL across NATO forces, in a range of missions.
It is envisaged that the first batch will include up to 10 UAV systems, with a significant capacity to increase the production volume. Series production is due to start by January 2019. UMS SKELDAR will continue to develop prototypes, complete software installation 6 and base its R&D programmes at its facilities in Switzerland (Möhlin) and Sweden (Linköping).
Finnish-owned Scanfil, with 10 manufacturing locations worldwide, employs 3,500 people and as contract manufacturers in Sweden has manufacturing experience in the aerospace sector, including helicopters, and other technologies such as medical devices.
“This solution is not just a great fit in terms of technology skills sets,” explained Per-Erik Cardell Site Manager Sweden and Product Manager SKELDAR V-200. “The fact that the company meets stringent standards demanded in a range of sectors, and relevant aerospace experience provides us with the ideal partner, and our collaboration allows us to quickly react to customer demand.”
Steve Creutz, Managing Director at Scanfil in Åtvidaberg, added: “We are very excited about the UMS SKELDAR venture. It is a customer who integrates perfectly with our experience of manufacturing advanced technology products and will benefit from our skills and processes and adherence to the highest production standards.”
SKELDAR V-200 and its variants are used in a range of applications across military and civilian sectors, with roles including ISR, SAR, tactical logistics support and inspection and maintenance.