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UAV NEWS
Drone serves as both aircraft and submarine
by Staff Writers
Singapore (Sputnik) Feb 22, 2016


The vehicle, which can be launched from a number of surface vessels, can operate like a standard UAV, using onboard cameras to conduct surveillance. But the drone can also be used as a submersible, where it serves in a mine detection capacity. The vehicle is more than just a concept.

The Pentagon has already developed both unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned submersibles. Now Singapore has developed the Unmanned Hybrid Vehicle (UHV), capable of operating both beneath the waves and through the clouds.

The annual Singapore Airshow - one of the largest defense exhibitions in the world - has highlighted a number of new technologies. On Tuesday, the Russian Information Satellite Systems (ISS) Company debuted its new line of satellites. On Wednesday, a Chinese defense company unveiled its latest missiles.

On Thursday, Singapore's ST Engineering displayed its latest drone. Painted a sky blue, the vehicle incorporates a standard twin wingtip design. But jutting out from the plane's rear fuselage are two gold propellers.

The vehicle, which can be launched from a number of surface vessels, can operate like a standard UAV, using onboard cameras to conduct surveillance. But the drone can also be used as a submersible, where it serves in a mine detection capacity. The vehicle is more than just a concept.

"That's not a model, that's the real thing," Milly Tay, head of the engineering group developing the vehicle, told Defense News.

While airborne, the drone has a range of roughly 4.3 nautical miles and can operate between 20 and 25 minutes, propelled by a single propeller engine. This propeller folds away while underwater, and the smaller, twin propellers beneath the wings give the vehicle a speed of 4 to 5 knots while underwater.

While ST has successfully tested the vehicles submerged capabilities, it has not yet been able to conduct test flights.

"We've not flown the vehicle due to restrictions [on unmanned aircraft operation] in Singapore. We're looking for a good location and hope to find one this year," Tay said.

"Not many countries are comfortable with a 25 kg [55 pound] experimental aircraft in their airspace," Tay added.

Source: Sputnik News

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