The Australian firm has been tapped by a Texas-based company to support the development of unmanned capability for the US Navy.
Orbital UAV has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Skyways, tasked with delivering a pre-production, heavy fuel engine for integration into Skyways’ unmanned air system (UAS) and subsequent flight testing.
The Perth-based company is scheduled to complete the delivery in the first quarter of the 2022 calendar year, before returning to Orbital UAV for evaluation once the flight testing is complete.
“Working with Skyways represents an exciting new development within the unmanned market for the company,” Todd Alder, CEO and managing director of Orbital UAV, said.
“Skyways has established itself at the forefront of unmanned cargo transportation for the US Navy – a growing and critical requirement within the service. Skyways continues to develop its platform to meet challenging requirements, including the platform’s ability to run efficiently on heavy fuel.”
This deal forms part of Skyways’ contract with the US Navy’s Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) to provide a UAS prototype, built for long-range naval ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore cargo transport.
NAWCAD is investing in unmanned air systems capability for applications requiring naval cargo transport vehicles that can operate through difficult environments, including heavy winds, open water and pitching vessels at sea.
This is a response to research which suggests warships often move to non-mission capable or partially mission capable status due to logistics-related issues.
[Related: Orbital UAV to expand production capacity]
News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.