Faun Trackway, the defence division of Llangefni-based Faun-Zoeller, has secured a £800,000 order from the Australian armed forces.
The company’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) landing mat, which it unveiled for the first time at September’s DSEi defence exhibition in London, acts as a temporary runway for unmanned aerial vehicles.
The agreement is the first ever sale of the new mat and further strengths Faun Trackway’s links with the Australian military, which has lodged several deals for the firm’s range of temporary aluminium roadways and runways in the past.
With defence analysts expecting modern air combat and surveillance to be increasingly dominated by UAVs, or drones as they are otherwise known, Faun Trackway is expecting to capitalise on this fast growing area of the industry with the first temporary UAV landing mat to hit the international market.
The lightweight UAV landing mat is designed to provide a temporary smooth landing, regardless of terrain, for any size or weight of UAV and can be deployed rapidly by hand.
The mats can also be fitted with arrestor gear typically found on aircraft carriers to enable the UAV to rapidly decelerate when landing.
Chris Kendall, Faun Trackway’s business development manager, said: “UAVs are typically used on clandestine operations in remote locations, which makes the need for runway infrastructure within flight range a challenging requirement to meet.
“Our UAV Landing Mat provides a fast and effective means for deploying and retrieving drones in whatever climate or environment giving users the potential to dramatically increase flight range and the length of operations as a result.”
One other reason cited as a factor behind winning the contract is Faun’s design, which guards against Foreign Object Damage (FOD) to help protect UAV assets and the company’s offer of related ancillary equipment such as lighting systems.
Australia-based consultants Mackay Defence are acting as Faun Trackway’s locally based distributor and have provided the business with ongoing support during its negotiations with the Australian armed forces.