TEKEVER launches the NEW AR3, with Hot-Swappable VTOL and integrated SAR

The “operationally flexible” AR3 is a two-in-one maritime UAS, which combines both VTOL and catapult launch.

Anita Hawser
28 April 2022
The AR3 VTOL can take off for a long endurance mission that only fixed wing platforms can do, or be reconfigured in less than five minutes to do a vertical take off.


TEKEVR of Portugal is looking to shake up the Unmanned Air Systems space for maritime surveillance with the launch of a “Hot-Swappable VTOL” version of its AR3 small long endurance UAS. 

The newest version of the “operationally flexible” AR3, which combines both VTOL and catapult launch, was recently unveiled at the Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)  Xponential 2022 in Orlando, Florida, which ran from April 25–28. 

“Our AR3 VTOL can take off for a long endurance mission that only fixed wing platforms can do, or be reconfigured in less than five minutes to do a vertical take off,” a TEKEVER spokesperson told Defence Procurement International. “It's a two in one asset and the smallest UAV in the market with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) capabilities.”  

Previous versions of the AR3, which supports a wide range of land and maritime operations, relied on a pneumatic catapult to launch and can be landed using parachute and a protective airbag. But with the most recent update to the platform, TEKEVER adds the ability to take-off and land vertically, providing users with a wide set of configuration options. 

If fitted with the VTOL option, the AR3 can fly up to eight hours under real operational conditions with a full sensor package. Without the VTOL option, the AR3's endurance is increased to 16 hours. With the latest upgrade, Lisbon-based TEKEVER says the AR3 is the most operationally flexible UAS in the market, and the smallest UAS to boast a high performance, dual-side looking Synthetic Aperture Radar, or SAR.  



“The  new version of our vastly proven  AR3 is a modular & transformable  platform,” explained Ricardo Mendes, TEKEVER’s CEO. “Users no longer have to choose between having pure fixed wing assets for longer endurance missions, or fixed-wing VTOL assets for more challenging deployment conditions. The AR3 combines both capabilities and provides users with the ability to decide the configuration just moments before takeoff.” 

The newly added Synthetic Aperture Radar provides the AR3 with greater operational range, and the ability to effectively detect, recognize and identify targets under any weather condition. Covering more than 20,000 square nautical miles  per mission, TEKEVER says the new AR3 is the perfect tool for wide-area surveillance missions. It can be launched from any vessel with a landing pad or open deck and can operate up to sea state 5. The AR3 can also be fitted with payloads such as EO/IR, radar and mobile phone detection sensors. A common Ground Control Station supports multiple operators and aircraft (AR3,4,5)  

“Our SAR, which we named  GAMASAR in honour of the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama,  is designed and built  by TEKEVER  specifically to provide our customers with capabilities that are typically only available through much larger systems,” said Mendes. “With an extremely reduced logistics footprint, the unprecedented VTOL flexibility and the unique capabilities provided by GAMASAR, the new AR3 is a game changer, that provides our customers with tremendous value and cost effectivenes.”

TEKEVER says it already has a couple of defence customers using the AR3 VTOL.






3.5 m


1.9 m


25 kg

Payload capacity

4 kg

Flight Endurance

VTOL: 8 hours / Fixed: 16 hours

Comms Range

100 km

Launch Method

VTOL or Catapult

Recovery Method

VTOL or Parachute/Net/Belly/Water