Sanswire-TAO Corporation has unveiled the initial STS-111, the new Mid Altitude Long Endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Designed to provide persistent surveillance capabilities, the STS-111 will work in tandem with other currently deployed UAVs in various domestic and overseas operations.

Measuring 111ft long and 11ft high, the STS-111’s lightweight, aerodynamic, envelope structure is based on the patented multi-segmented and non-rigid design.

The flexible design of STS-111 enables it to cope with winds encountered during flight, and fulfil a range of desired mission profiles at altitudes up to 15,000ft.

While carrying a payload of ISR/Comm equipment, the STS-111 can perform persistent loitering or racetrack operations nonstop for an estimated two and a half days, to provide up to a 200km operational line of sight.

The STS-111 unfolds rapidly from its standard-size crate, and remains prepared to be launched from anywhere without a large hangar or an exposed mooring platform.

The STS-111 is powered by a lightweight and highly efficient engine, which has modified using Sanswire-TAO’s patented FuelGas airship design.

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By using the FuelGas system, the STS-111’s endurance, duration and performance increases compared with other airship designs, which mainly rely on burning heavy liquid fuel.

Sanswire CEO Captain David Christian said the STS-111 represents a step forward in providing extended duration persistent surveillance at a significantly lower cost due to its unique lighter-than-air design.