Martin UAV’s V-BAT has been selected by the U.S. Navy as the basis for a prototype VTOL UAS (unmanned aerial system) that is intended to fulfill new technological requirements driven by the changing nature of threats in austere operating environments. The selection was made following the Navy’s Mi2 Challenge, which saw thirteen respondents compete in a technology demonstration at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Arizona.
The competition included technology questionnaires, performance summaries, and in-depth supporting artifacts. Criteria included maximum portability, self-sufficiency and modularity in UAS hardware and payload capabilities without the need for ancillary support equipment.
The V-BAT was selected due to its minimal logistic support requirements and maximum versatility. The system offers vertical takeoff with a single-engine ducted fan, automatic transition to straight and level flight, easily commanded hovers and stares, interchangeable payloads, and an open architecture.
Heath Niemi, Martin UAV’s Chief Development Officer and retired U.S. Army colonel, commented: “Martin UAV’s V-BAT was designed to address the needs of the warfighter in an ever-changing landscape and is now an integral part of reshaping mission requirements and capability offerings to better equip the Navy in future operations.”
“Without Martin UAV CEO Ruben Martin’s commitment to innovation, the team’s relentless dedication to superior product development, and the support and expertise of our partner Broadhead Consulting throughout the entire process; offering this unique UAS solution would not have been possible.”
“The awarding of this opportunity does not just benefit Martin and its partners, it truly benefits the warfighter and everyone involved in support of defense mission sets, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of the opportunity.”