On the afternoon of June 4, the Martin UAV “V-BAT”, a state-of-the art VTOL Fixed Wing UAV, launched from McMillan Field at U.S. Army Base, Camp Roberts in a flight test to demonstrate its calculated service ceiling. Twenty-five minutes later, V-BAT descended after easily reaching the upper limit of the restricted air space and its calculated service ceiling of 15,000 feet.
After landing and a rapid payload change to an 8 lb. turret, the V-BAT was refueled and relaunched in less than an hour. The second flight was performed at a more tactical altitude and demonstrated the V-BAT’s capability of integrated flight with an Avwatch tracking antenna, successfully conducting ISR missions at ranges in excess of 50 miles.
Phillip Jones, Martin UAV’s Chief Operating Officer and former RAF fighter pilot said, “With these milestones, V-BAT has demonstrated all of the key performance parameters we set for it two years ago. The focus for the engineering team will now shift to enhancing and refining these capabilities to even better meet & exceed warfighter requirements.”
Both tests were performed as a part of the Naval Post Graduate School’s Joint Interagency Field Experiment 18-3 (JIFX), an event that provides government, industry and academic innovators the opportunity to collaborate and experiment with new technologies.