The US Navy PMA 263 has selected Kraus Hamdani Aerospace to provide the K1000ULE solar-electric VTOL UAS.

The aircraft will be fielded by the United States Marine Corps Small Unit Remote Scouting System.

The Navy ultimately selected the K1000ULE through a comprehensive down selection evaluation process.

Conducted at a government test facility and overseen by the University of Maryland UAS Research and Operations Center, the following capabilities were evaluated:

Enhanced manoeuvrability, enabling operations from disadvantaged locations
Reduced transportation and logistics enabling rapid transportation into theater
Minimized crew requirements with a maximum of two operators (pilot and sensor operator)
Silent operations to minimise detection
Airborne endurance (extended flight time). The K1000ULE remains a world leader in long-endurance aerial operations
VTOL capabilities, ensuring independence from traditional runways
Durability, with the ability to operate in various environmental conditions
Day and night operations and sensor capabilities
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance with Target Acquisition capabilities
Compliance with the SOCOM Modular Payload (MOD Payload) standard
Command and Control (C2) range between operator and aircraft
Mission systems include simplified Command and Control of the K1000ULE, Full-Motion Video (FMV) interfaces, and Target Acquisition capabilities

Once in the hands of the U.S. Marine Corps., the attributes above will enhance the Navy’s capacity to perform Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance operations simpler, faster, and more cost-effective with the ultimate objective of saving lives.

Additionally, the Navy will get enhanced long-range communication capabilities enabling continued coverage in denied and contested environments.

The K1000ULE, while providing the longest endurance in the electric Group-2 VTOL category, is enabled to share critical data between platforms within its network. This allows for the repositioning of aircraft on-demand based on sensor input while dynamically populating the Common Operating Picture.

A single operator can control a swarm of K1000ULE UAS through a simple user interface, identifying specific coverage areas and launching the correct number of aircraft to fulfill dynamic missions. The pilot has full situational awareness and can dynamically re-task aircraft in real-time as mission objectives change using gamified user interfaces.
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