PLANO, Texas — Martin UAV successfully demonstrated the shipboard integration of its V-BAT as well as its impressive maritime capabilities in support of U.S. Southern Command’s (USSOUTHCOM) counter-narcotics operations in the Eastern Pacific from Oct. 6, 2019, to July 31, 2020, the company said in a Nov. 10 release.
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 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.
“This mission helped catapult Martin UAV’s V-BAT into the maritime environment, showcasing its ability to withstand and perform in tropical conditions, including: strong crosswinds and unexpected storms with rain exceeding 10mm per hour,” said Heath Niemi, vice president of Global Sales & Development.