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Marine UAVs in Latin America

Often times, an unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV, also semi-domestic, which is very cheap to purchase, has more technology and electronic resources than various light aircraft in military use without risking crew lives or costly fuel expenditures .

At the naval level, outside of the meteorological constraints on winds, the same picture prevails, indicating significant growth in the use of this type of system on seas, great lakes and estuaries of the region where possibly the Corps of Naval Fusiliers of the Brazilian Navy was the first unit she released. The PELVANT (unmanned aerial vehicle train), institutionalized in 2009, began developing and equipping this type of device at the end of 2005, when the company Santos Lab launched the Carcar 1, which was specially developed for them, manually or by catapult with 45 minutes of autonomy at 40 km / H.

When the new Carcar 2 arrived in 2009 with 3 copies and then 35 ms and doubled its autonomy, the PELVANT was organized as a dependency of the Air Force Control and Air Defense Battalion. The UAVs are used in anti-aircraft, firing, target tracking drills, facility protection, natural disasters, and assistance to those in need and to maintain order. The payload of approx. 800 grams is usually integrated into an HD camera (high definition) or an infrared sensor. It transmits data in real time via a PTZ antenna (also HD), which lands almost vertically due to the deep stall mode itself.

The Brazilian Navy is currently evaluating various medium-sized UAVs for longer monitoring of maritime traffic. She has already reviewed Elbit Hermes, IAI Heron and others, and so far has chosen the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle system, which has a launch vehicle, a collection station and a ground control unit. Through the military sales program of the FMS (Foreign Military Sales) under the supervision of the Directorate of Naval Aviation with the possible inclusion of up to 6 units.

The 1st Remote Controlled Patrol and Surveillance Aircraft Squadron (QP-1) was created for its missions of various ships, especially the new Tamandar class. The Brazilian Stella also proposes the new Atob of the MALE type (medium altitude, long endurance) of medium altitude and great autonomy, developed according to STANAG standards with a range of 250 km. and ability to fly for up to 28 hours. carry a load of 70 kg. It was recently offered to the offshore oil industry as Brazil posted 6 exploration areas that are more than 200 nautical miles from the coast.

Some local Brazilian police units have installed light drones that are also said to be used to work with or prevent coastal rescue, pollution, etc.

The other countries

The unmanned aircraft squadron of the Ecuadorian Navy based in Manta has maintained 4 IAI Searcher MK IIs for reconnaissance missions since 2009. and 2 IAI herons with 20 hours of autonomy, equipped with radar for maritime surveillance and other sensors. Not only do they fight illegal fishing and drug trafficking, they also form the sovereign energy plan against theft and fuel trafficking. Chile maintains the Skua in the marine infantry and 2 units of the national RMS Mantarraya, consisting of a launch platform, a modular control station and the aircraft in a transportable system that operates from land or on board, with 4 hours of autonomy and optron sensors, torches, decoys, etc. as well as some DJI Mavic 2 zoom units in marine areas.

Argentina chooses to use domestic or foreign products, despite the fact that in 2019 naval personnel from that country studied in Raven RQ-11 systems at NAVSCIATTS (Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School, Mississippi) in the United States. The Directorate for Scientific Research and Technological Development of the Peruvian Navy not only has some e-bee surveying units and others for coast guards, but also develops its own systems for vertical and conventional take-off, electric motors and a payload of up to 6 kg.

Colombia launches its Almirante Padilla frigates and finally its OPV-80, the Boeing Insitu Scan Eagle in the NightEagle night-time version, which includes thermal imaging from MWIR (Media Wave Infra-Red). COTECMAR LPR-40 proposes the use of the Israeli Sky Sapience Hover Mast Exo for its newest river boats. Honduras uses the ADS Orbiter 2 at marine level, which is equipped with a video camera with various day and night sensors and a range of 80 km and can be operated from its new ships.

The unmanned aircraft squadron of the Mexican Navy wants, apart from some of its own developments of mini-UAVs, to standardize the SPARTAAM line (Autonomous Patrol System of Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance for the Navy) planned by the Institute for Research and Technological Development (INIDETAM), vertical operation and four-engine. It already has 9 units that complement the current 12 Arcturus Jump VTOLs in the US.

These are equipped with a data connection and a payload of 27 kg and use infrared sensors and electro-optical Cloud Cap 200 and 400 with an autonomy of 12 flight hours. Most are four-engine vertical takeoffs, although some units are launched from ramps. In some other Marine Corps, such as the Uruguayan National Navy, the use of UAVs is still very punctual and with few units (1 of which concerned the Marine Corps), even though drug transfers have already been carried out between ships using small DJI systems.

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