…purchased ones can fly 50 kilometres in rain or sun
The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) in a three-page missive to the media yesterday said the acquisition of the five drones it recently purchased is comprehensive, but security concerns prevent a detailed breakdown of its capabilities.
The GDF did say however, that “the drones come equipped with full surveillance suites (details of which security concerns prevent us from discussing), spares packages for each drone, ground station antennas, computers and accessories, in country training, and eighteen months warranty and support”.
In detailing the considerations taken by the GDF in defence of its purchase of the five-drone package, that it paid $180M for, it said “there was a need to receive live video feeds at distances well in excess of 50 kilometres, while maintaining flight in excess of two to three hours”.
The GDF argues that “most Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) drones can only support live video streams up to a few kilometres (less than ten (10) in most cases) and flight for under one hour”.
According to the GDF in its release, the platform (drones) selected needed to be able to fly in less than optimal weather conditions (rain or sun).
The GDF in defence of its purchase said that its basic requirements eliminated many of the COTS, particularly all of the models advertised by Dà-Jiāng Innovations (DJI), the largest COTS drone provider in the world.
Further defending the purchase, the Army offered a comparison with another provider—Wingcopter.
Checks on this, against the specification identified by the GDF raises even more questions.
The GDF, for example, said it required a drone that provides live feeds at distances well in excess of 50 kilometres. Wingcopter advertises its drone at a range of 100 kilometres.
The army said too it needed a drone that can withstand the varying weather conditions, namely rain and sun, and according to Wingcopter, its drone is a closed system where all electronic parts are protected from environmental effects.
The GDF said too, though the Wingcopter drone supports vertical take-off and landing, it is lacking in hover capabilities when compared to the Skyfront Drone.
Checks on the website provided by the GDF for Wingcopter, the entity advertises the drone as follows: “Wingcopter’s core innovation is its unique tilt-rotor mechanism. It ensures a smooth and robust transition between hovering like a multicopter and flying forward like a plane.”
This feature, according to drone experts, is supported in the tilt rotor system and allows for longer range flights.
According to the GDF, while the drones have similar base prices, the Skyfront drone which it purchased boasts an additional hour of flying time.
Additionally, the GDF in defence of its use of Skyfront—a tech startup company—said “of note, the wingcopter drone is a market leader in the delivery of vaccinations to remote areas; a mission it is well suited to perform, and the company was only established as a start-up in 2015 according to its website (https://wingcopter.com/vision/), that is one year after Skyfront.”
The GDF nonetheless is adamant it “firmly believes that its choice of drone acquisition is in keeping with its mandate, will provide value for investment in the missions it will perform, and that adequate due diligence and analyses were exercised in its selection”.
Aug 10, 2020By Sean Devers Thirteen years older than his 22-year-old opponent, undefeated Guyanese born Lennox ‘2 Sharp’ Allen stepped into the ring for the biggest fight of his 16 years as a professional...
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]