Company Martin UAV demonstrates shipboard integration with its V-BAT VTOL drone

According to a press release published on November 10, 2020, American Company Martin UAV successfully demonstrated the shipboard integration of its V-BAT as well as its impressive maritime capabilities in support of United States Southern Command’s counter-narcotics operations in the Eastern Pacific from October 6, 2019, to July 31, 2020.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 A V-BAT vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial system (UAS) prepares to launch from the flight deck of the Military Sealift Command expeditionary fast transport vessel USNS Spearhead (T-EPF 1). (Picture source U.S. DoD)

Support for the mission included the highly visible Enhanced Counter Narcotics Operations that began April 1 and was kicked off by the President of the United States.

The 10-month mission started with a demonstration of the V-BAT’s small footprint, quick set-up, rapid deployment, and true Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capabilities. Upon successful completion, a technology assessment to support the USSOUTHCOM Exercises and Coalition Affairs Directorate, Long Duration, Long Dwell (LD2) started upon successful completion of the shakedown.

By leveraging commercial off-the-shelf technologies, LD2’s goal is to enhance the execution of the Department of Defense’s strategic objectives. Over the course of the demonstration, the V-BAT flew an unprecedented 273 sorties for a total of 1340.7 flight hours.

The V-Bat is a vertical takeoff and landings drone that retaining the high efficiency of a fixed-wing aircraft for long-endurance missions. Citing the "Drive" website, it can reach a speed of up to 90 knots, it can dash to different areas quickly and it can cruise around for eight hours at 45 knots at an altitude of up to 15,000 feet. It can carry a payload of around eight pounds, which can include various multi-spectral sensors, electronic intelligence, radar, electronic warfare, and communications connectivity packages.

The V-BAT series aircraft is the only single-engine ducted fan VTOL that has the ability to launch & recover from a hover, fly 8+ hours in horizontal flight, and make mid-flight transitions to “hover & stare” at any time throughout a given mission set.