Empowering Defence Operations: UMS Skeldar and MilDef Pioneer Future-Ready Console Solutions

Problem: The demand for unmanned flying vehicles (UAVs) in defense has significantly increased, requiring the development of capabilities to meet higher operational standards.

Solution: UMS Skeldar collaborated with MilDef to create a bespoke remote console that provides an optimal workspace, functionality, and easy access to necessary controls for operators.

Result: The collaboration resulted in a console that perfectly meets UMS Skeldar’s operational needs, ensuring operator comfort, seamless control access, as well as durability in harsh conditions. The successful launch of the console paves the way for additional models to be made.

UMS Skeldar – The Drone (R)Evolution

Unmanned flying vehicles, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, are aircrafts that are operated remotely without an onboard human pilot. They can be controlled by a human operator from the ground or fly autonomously using pre-programmed flight plans or artificial intelligence algorithms.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the demand for UAVs in the defense due to their ability to provide enhanced situational awareness, precision strikes, force protection, cost-effectiveness, technological advancements, and rapid deployment capabilities.

UMS Skeldar is a company that specializes in the development, production, and operation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or drones. The company’s primary product line is the Skeldar series of unmanned helicopters. These helicopters are designed for various missions, including surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition, as well as electronic warfare. The Skeldar UAVs are capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and have the ability to hover, making them suitable for operations in confined areas or on naval vessels.

Skeldar UAV

Collaborative Innovation Takes Flight

UMS Skeldar has been actively involved in collaborating with various customers and partners worldwide. And, in the autumn of 2022, MilDef got the challenging mission to design, develop and manufacture a bespoke working platform for UMS Skeldar’s V-200 plattform, who in turn got the mission to deliver the V-200 UAS and consoles to specific operators for a prominent maritime defense force.

To develop a concept that satisfies both UMS Skeldar and their customer, it requires more than just the UAV itself. The purpose of the console is not only to provide the most optimal workspace for flight operators in terms of functionality and ergonomics, but also to grant easy access to all the necessary instruments and controls during the flight. We designed it with the users’ comfort in mind, ensuring they can work without discomfort or the risk of prolonged sitting. The console accommodates two operators – one responsible for flying and the other providing assistance.

We are truly grateful for MilDef’s invaluable contribution in creating a console that perfectly meets our operational needs. Their expertise and dedication have been instrumental in developing a robust and functional product that endures harsh conditions. The console provides an optimal workspace for our flight operators, ensuring their comfort and allowing seamless access to all the necessary controls. We appreciate MilDef’s commitment and are confident in their ability to deliver exceptional solutions.” Tomas Wallin, Product Manager, UMS Skeldar

Console in environment

From Blueprint to Breakthrough

This project aims to establish MilDef as the provider of a console product for Skeldar, which will be offered to their clients. Following the successful launch, additional models  will be manufactured . MilDef has recently launched the inaugural iteration of the console model, marking a significant milestone in the development process. Notably, the project has achieved remarkable progress, reaching this stage within a remarkable timeframe of just six months.

Felicia stated, “While we are introducing the model concept, we understand the importance of catering to our clients’ unique operational requirements and desired functionalities. The appearance and components of this console are specifically tailored to the measurements and mission objectives provided by Skeldar’s customer. Moving forward, we will continue to offer variant consoles that align with each client’s specific operations.”

“MilDef’s collaboration with UMS began in September 2022, and one of the highlights has been the close cooperation between Skeldar’s engineers, the client, and the MilDef team in what we call the Integrated Planning Team. Together, we have developed the electric and data systems, directly linked to Skeldar’s servers.” Felicia Ahlstrand, Project Manager, MilDef.

To ensure a truly comprehensive solution that prioritizes operational knowledge and safety maintenance, MilDef has placed utmost importance on the development of detailed instruction manuals, recognizing the vital role of Integrated Logistics Support (ILS). These manuals serve as invaluable resources for operators, offering crucial guidance and instructions to maximize operational efficiency while prioritizing safety measures.

“We are dedicated to delivering instruction manuals of the highest quality that match the caliber of the product itself. Our commitment lies in ensuring that the instructions are presented in a manner that best suits the end users, making them easy to follow and understand.” Mikael Bergman, Technical Writer, MilDef

Features Description
Control Display 27-inch TV screen capable of transmitting what the vehicle observes
Flight Data Display Smaller display below the main screen showing flight data such as altitude, bearing, and information on the vehicle’s destination or relevant position information
Hand Controllers Hanging on either side of the console, special-made controllers for controlling the aircraft
Rugged Components All components are specially manufactured to withstand tough conditions. They may have a commercial appearance but are specifically designed to endure harsh environments.
Armrest Access Armrest provides access to a keyboard and mouse
Storage Compartment Each operator has a storage box under the panel for keeping flight-related materials such as maps, notepads, and also food and water for sustained operation of the vehicle
Adjustable Foot Support A footrest that can be adjusted to different positions to provide proper support and prevent strain on the feet against the aircraft’s structure

Project Credits

Project Managers: Felicia Ahlstrand and Magnus Fällman

About MilDef

MilDef is a systems integrator and full-spectrum provider specializing in rugged IT for military, government and critical infrastructure sectors. We provide hardware, software, and services that help digitalize vital information streams in the harshest conditions and most challenging environments.

We shield and protect the most critical information streams and systems, where and when the stakes are the highest. We ensure secure, resilient, and reliable IT, which ultimately protects not only human lives, but also our common way of life, freedom, and democracy. The very fabric of our society.

In close cooperation with our customers and partners, we integrate durable, reliable and bespoke hardware into highly flexible and customizable systems and solutions. Solutions that are rigorously tested — not only in our laboratory and environmental test facilities, but also in real life.

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