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Armasuisse has awarded a contract for a fleet of Lockheed Martin’s Indago 3 small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for the Swiss Army.

Under the contract, the Swiss Army will receive options for spares, training and tech support and additional systems from the firm.

Delivery of the first set optimised UAS is scheduled to commence later this year. The remaining systems are estimated to be delivered several months afterwards.

The military-grade UAS is capable of providing aerial reconnaissance in environments inaccessible by regular fixed-wing, unmanned aircraft systems.

The all-weather Indago 3 system has endurance and quick deployment ability to meet the mission requirements.

The first phase of the contract will comprise manufacturing development, under which Indago 3’s configuration will be optimised to meet the Swiss Army’s requirements.

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These requirements include the integration of a transponder for sense and avoid capabilities, in addition to the installation of Silvus Technologies’ radio.

The unmanned system will feature Lockheed Martin CDL Systems’ VCSi Touch SUAS Ground Control System software.

The software will provide access to Swiss maps, digital terrain elevation data (DTED), and geofencing.

Supporting tactical level reconnaissance, Indago 3 will be able to collect information, and undertake search and rescue, disaster relief operations and make battle damage assessment.

Lockheed Martin UAS Portfolio manager Steve Fortson said: “Indago 3 is uniquely qualified to support the Swiss Army’s mission needs.

“Indagos operate very quietly from relatively low altitude and provide high fidelity sensor imagery. They are simple to use and require minimal training so soldiers can quickly execute their mission.

“The Silvus Technologies radios also deliver best-in-class performance and efficiency in a miniature package. They’re ideal for use in portable and embedded applications where size, weight, power and cost are key.”

Based on payloads and operating environment, Indago 3 has a flight time of up to 50 minutes with a range of 10km.

Deployable in less than three minutes, the UAS can be easily transported in a single backpack.

It can operate at temperatures from -30°F to as high as 120°F.