Drone-maker Tekever’s AR5 is soaring somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean off Portugal right now (half way through the 2018 Farnborough Airshow), delivering a real-time video feed. The company has positioned itself as a leader in unmanned aerial systems for maritime surveillance.
It is a small but growing market segment, Tekever’s business development director Robert Whitehouse said. “The sea is finite, but maritime activity is increasing.”
The AR5 can stay aloft for up to 20 hours depending on its payload. That gives operators plenty of time to soar over the sea. It also can carry maritime radar with 60-nautical-mile range, allowing it to look over the horizon.
Tekever has signed two-year contracts worth up to $90 million with the European Maritime Safety Agency, providing it with UAS capabilities for safety and environmental surveillance.
“We have no plans to arm the AR5, and no customer is asking for it,” Whitehouse said.
However, defense customers are increasing interested in systems developed in the civilian realm, so the AR5 could one day be used in non-weapon military applications.