The Singapore Army has unveiled its new VELOCE 15 (V15) mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), with hybrid vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability during a visit by Singapore’s Defence Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen at the Headquarters Sense and Strike unit at Mandai Hill Camp on June 28, 2021.
The new UAV is the first locally-developed hybrid VTOL fixed wing system, and was developed by the Singapore Army, DSO National Laboratories, Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA), and ST Engineering.
According to the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), the VELOCE 15 UAV can provide high-resolution live imagery, allowing the conduct of “last-mile aerial surveillance” in areas considered difficult for ground forces to deploy.
The new UAV is currently undergoing trials, and is slated to replace the Skyblade III as the Singapore Army’s next-generation mini UAV to meet its tactical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) requirements.
The ST Engineering Skyblade III was first developed in 2007, and entered service with the Singapore Army in 2009, becoming the service’s primary airborne battlefield ISR asset.
The new VELOCE 15 UAV has a maximum take-off weight of 17.5 kilograms, a wingspan of 3.7 meters, and can fly up to 3 hours up to tactical altitudes between 300 to 2,000 feet above mean sea level.
The endurance and range is said to be 87% longer than the Skyblade III UAV.
It can be equipped with an under-nose electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) payload capable of providing high-resolution imagery for day and night operations in combat environment.
The UAV can provide a line-of-sight datalink radius of 15 kilometers from the ground control station, and can be transported and operated by two personnel, with only 10 minutes needed for assembly and flight preparations.