UMS Skeldar has launched a new ISR training partnership with 360iSR to provide specialist operational support from Concept of Operations (CONOPS) development to mission specific training.

David Willems, VP Business Development and Strategy for UMS Skeldar, the joint venture between Saab and UMS AERO GROUP, said the partnership would provide a solution for ISR operators, sensor operators and intelligence analysts – and could also see civil applications overtaking military demand.

Willems said the partnership would finally enable UMS Skeldar to provide an end to end training solution to the customers ensuring they could maximise their use of the platform’s technology.

He also predicted that civil applications could eventually overtake military business. Willems said: “We see that happening in the future in the next five, maybe 10 years, but it is definitely a trend that will happen. The military remains the bread and butter of a business like ours. But with the launch of the V 150, our smaller brother to the V 200, we have been inundated with requests for civilian applications, from the energy sector where we have the oil and gas companies in certain parts of the world who want to use large size UAVs like the V150 to perform logistics resupply from shore to offshore.”

Increased demand means training must be updated for civilian use

He said there was also an interest in cargo logistics for the medical sector for deliveries in remote parts of the world where there was non segregated airspace with few populated areas.

“Today, this would only be possible with planes that are again costly or helicopters that are again costly,” he said. “So this increased demand for using our platforms for those deliveries prompted us to understand that the training programme that we had in place had to be updated or tailored to the civilian use that we have been confronted with.”

Willems said unmanned ISR capability for military applications would remain core business for some time and towards fifth generation warfare. “This is what this cooperation is all about. Collecting data is only as good as the platform that flies the right sensor to perform the mission. We are providing the platform, but we need to educate our end users on how to better use the platform and the associated sensors to collect the right data to exploit it in real time, and to disseminate it to the right stakeholders so that they can perform the right decision. This is what the fifth-generation warfare is about, as far as we’re concerned.”

Training will enable customers to use 90-100 per cent of technology

What the company was providing with 360 ISR was training for customer’s specific missions. He said: “We are really able to merge our team within the crew of the customer, to help them, to assist them, to design the right concept of operation to perform the mission that they have. And one must say that, apart from maybe the US military, who are quite experienced, a lot of defence forces across the world, like the toys, like the technology, and use only 20 to 30 per cent of it, we try to fill the gap so that they can use 90 to 100 per cent of the technology that they have acquired, finally.”