BEML’s Czech collaborator PRIMOCO UAV obtains European license to operate Light Unmanned Certificate

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Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P. Chacko is the publisher of Frontier India, portal publishing news and current affairs. He holds an M.B.A in International Business from the Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, USA. Twitter: @chackojoseph *views are Personal.

On February 11, 2022, Primoco UAV SE obtained an Unmanned Light Certificate (LUC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Czech Republic in the “Specific” category for the Primoco UAV One 150 drone in accordance with European Regulation (EU) 947/2019.

BEML and Primoco UAV had signed a memorandum of understanding during Aero India 2021 and agreed to work together to create a centre of excellence for unmanned technology in India.

It is the first time in the world that a LUC certificate has been issued for a European fixed-wing aircraft. Overall, this is the fifth certificate in Europe, with the previous ones including rotating bearing machines. The company’s LUC authorisation allows, within the scope of the certification, to perform flight activities with internal approval of the company-level operation. It is the highest authorisation that can be achieved under existing European regulations. Within the approved operational scenarios, the company wants to use the certificate for development, test and training flights and control the state’s critical infrastructure and other activities.

The CEO and founder of the company considers the certificate to be clear proof of the high level of the company and the Primoco UAV One 150 aircraft, “We worked for the certificate for eighteen months, and thanks to the high standards of our company, we did not have to fundamentally modify the processes in our company to obtain it. We have used our seven years of experience in preparing the documents for the certificate, including the operation of the aircraft in several European countries… Primoco UAV is the only company in the world that develops and manufactures tactical drones, at the same time obtained a license for the design and manufacture of military aircraft, civil license to operate LUC, certified according to NATO military standard STANAG 4703, owns a factory airport and is traded on a stock exchange. We have the last significant goal ahead of us, to significantly increase our market share from the current 4% of worldwide sales.”

Almost 35,000 unmanned system operators are registered in the Czech Republic, of which more than three hundred fall into the “Specific” category. Primoco UAV SE is the first Czech applicant for a LUC certificate and is the first entity to obtain it. In addition to the LUC civil authorisation, the company is also approved as a design and production organisation according to military standards EMAR 21, and the Primoco UAV One 150 is certified according to the NATO STANAG 4703 standard recognised by all aviation authorities in the world. Given the legal definition of drone operations, certification is the only way to ensure compliance with international aviation regulations.

The Czech company Primoco UAV manufactures civil and military One 150 drones, which it has developed. 

STANAG 4703 certification

The STANAG 4703 certification base is a set of requirements that an aircraft must meet to demonstrate the required reliability and performance. The certification imposes requirements both on the aircraft and the company itself. Therefore, before certification, Primoco UAV obtained authorisation as a development (DOA) and production organisation (POA) according to the latest European military regulations EMAR 21. The company’s authorisation and fully independent production located in the Czech Republic and its factory airport represent a unique combination enabling independent development and production of unmanned aerial vehicles. 

Primoco One 150 drone

Primoco UAV One 150M drone, registered under the brand 0498 in the Czech Military Aviation Register, was first flown on September 30, 2021. 

The Primoco One 150 drone is capable of medium range with a payload of up to 30 kg within its maximum take-off weight of 150 kg. Flight parameters includes the endurance of 15 hours, direct radio range of up to 200 km with the possibility of SatCom connection, range of 2,000 km and complete automation of take-off, flight and landing. The firm’s aircraft are currently used on three continents, including inspection of pipelines and distribution networks in the oil and gas sector, ensuring border and coastal security, fire monitoring and search and rescue operations.

BEML and PRIMOCO UAV

BEML is counting on Primoco UAV’s approval as a production and design organisation according to the EMAR rules and compliance with the EASA SORA rules, as it guarantees the introduction of the latest available technology. Combining all Primoco UAV certificates and mandates is a prerequisite for successful technology transfer. 

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, a Center of Excellence will be built in India on the latest European standards. It will aim to become a benchmark for the operation of mid-range drones in the region. BEML seeks to provide a full range of services from the assembly, support, delivery and training of the Primoco One 150 for Indian and regional customers.

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