New UAV Producer Targets World Markets

Unmanned Systems Group (USG), headquartered in Switzerland with engineering facilities in Sweden and a large contingent of Saab veterans in its workforce, is presenting two fixed-wing UAS and a one-third-scale model of a rotary-wing system that revives and improves on a long-neglected propulsion technology.
A key feature of USG’s systems is that they are “ITAR-free” — they have no U.S. components and thus are not affected by U.S. State Department International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Key markets are in nations that prefer not to acquire systems from the U.S. or Israel.

The larger, fixed-wing UAS is the Discoverer II, which CEO Michael Olofsson says is unique in being designed around its payload: the Selex ES Seaspray 5000E radar, primarily used for maritime surveillance. (Selex’s PicoSAR is an option for overland missions.) As a result, the small aircraft (550-lb. takeoff weight) can offer an endurance of up to 16 hr. with full littoral and blue-water capability. It is being offered with alternative gasoline and heavy-fuel engines.
The smaller (47-lb. launch weight) Discoverer I is designed to fill the gap between backpack UAS and larger, tactical vehicles, with a complete system being compact enough to fit on a light truck or SUV. The company offers a car-top launcher that attaches to a commercial Thule roof-rack system. It incorporates an electric starter and automatically releases the aircraft at speeds as low as 70 km/hr.

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