Martin UAV recently released the newest version of its V-BAT VTOL drone, the V-BAT 128, which comes with more power, payloads and endurance.
The UAS is designed for defense and commercial use and can be deployed in a variety of missions, including search and rescue, firefighting, logistic resupply, and energy and oil and gas operations, according to a news release.
The drone can take off and land on stationary and moving platforms and in areas with a footprint of less than 12-feet by 12-feet. Improvements made to the system include enhancements to the engine, a remote-start 288cc 2-stroke EFI, increased horsepower, 11-plus hours of endurance, and up to 25 pounds of interchangeable payloads for mission-specific requirements. It has a wingspan of 9.7 feet and can reach 90+ knots at altitudes of 20,000 feet.
The system is designed for easy transport and rapid tactical deployment. Two people can assemble the drone in less than 30 minutes. Its duct fan propulsion eliminates exposed rotors for increased operational safety.
The upgraded V-BAT was demonstrated over the course of several weeks at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE). The system flew various missions, showcasing its ability to transition from take-off to a vertical hover and persistent stare capability while maintaining a sensor line of sight despite difficult terrain.
“Martin UAV continues to push the boundaries of what is possible for unmanned aircraft systems,” Chief Development Officer Heath Niemi said, according to the release. “We have listened to the customer and expanded the capabilities and agility of the V-BAT, delivering technology that serves a wider range of mission needs. We’re proud to make the V-BAT available to the broader market and to provide more power and payload that can be transported in the bed of a pick-up truck, or, inside a Black Hawk.”