FAUN Trackway, the defence division of Llangefni-based FAUN Zoeller, has secured a circa £800,000 order from the Australian armed forces.

FAUN’s UAV Landing Mat, which it unveiled for the first time at last month’s
DSEi defence exhibition to an international audience in London, acts as a temporary runway for unmanned aerial vehicles.

The agreement is the first ever sale for the new mat and a further agreement with the Australians who along with over 40 different nations worldwide use its range of temporary aluminium roadways and runways.

The lightweight UAV Landing Mat is designed to provide a temporary smooth landing, regardless of terrain, for any size or weight of UAV and can be deployed rapidly by hand.

To enable the UAV to rapidly decelerate when landing the mats can also be fitted with arrestor gear typically found on aircraft carriers.

With defence analysts expecting modern air combat and surveillance to be increasingly dominated by UAVs – or drones as they are otherwise known – FAUN says it is expecting to capitalise on this fast growing area of the industry with the first temporary UAV landing mat to hit the international market.

Chris Kendall, FAUN Trackway’s business development manager, said: "UAVs are typically used on clandestine operations in remote locations, which make the need for runway infrastructure within flight range an often challenging requirement to meet.

"Our UAV Landing Mat provides a fast and effective means for deploying and retrieving drones in whatever climate or environment giving users the potential to dramatically increase flight range and the length of operations as a result."

The mats also feature a robust design to help it guard against Foreign Object Damage (FOD) to help protect UAV assets while FAUN is also offering related ancillary equipment such as lighting systems.

Australia-based consultants Mackay Defence are acting as FAUN’s locally based distributor and have provided the business with ongoing support during its negotiations with the Australian armed forces.