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ExpoDefensa 2023: CIAC displays Coelum UAV created in Colombia.

| 2023

At the ExpoDefensa 2023 exhibition in Colombia, the Colombian Aeronautical Industry Corporation (CIAC) showcased its Coelum, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) entirely designed and manufactured within Colombia. The UAV, initially presented at Expodefensa 2021, features an electric engine and offers capabilities for both military and civil use.

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ExpoDefensa 2023 CIAC Coelum UAV 925 001  The Coelum is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) entirely designed and manufactured in Colombia (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The Colombian Aeronautical Industry Corporation (CIAC), a long-established entity with over 66 years of experience, specializes in various aviation services, including scheduled and unscheduled maintenance for commercial and defense markets. The corporation is known for manufacturing ballistic protection systems and engaging in the design and development of both manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. Supported by qualified personnel, advanced technology, and high standards of quality and air safety, CIAC has a history of contributions to the aviation industry.

Originally established in 1966 as an autonomous entity under the Ministry of National Defense, CIAC underwent classification as a Mixed Economy company in 1971. Throughout its history, CIAC has been involved in diverse activities, such as engine and conventional aircraft repair, assembly of general aviation aircraft in collaboration with AICSA, and maintenance contracts for Boeing B-727 aircraft. The corporation has participated in projects related to the modernization and modification of military aircraft, earning certifications and authorizations from entities like Civil Aeronautics, ISO, and international aviation manufacturers.

The Coelum UAV, initially presented at Expodefensa 2021 and currently in service with the Colombian Air Force (FAC), offers capabilities for both military and civil use. With an autonomy exceeding 60 minutes, the UAV's low energy consumption and high aerodynamic performance make it suitable for reconnaissance, intelligence, and surveillance missions of ground targets.

A notable aspect of the Coelum UAV is its 100% Colombian design and manufacturing, leading to a reduction in logistical and operational costs. The system's easy deployment and operation make it tactically advantageous for small advanced reconnaissance groups. Beyond military applications, the UAV can be utilized for volcano surveillance, early warnings, hydrographic environments, and mobility monitoring, showcasing its adaptability to the Colombian terrain.

The Coelum UAV, with a maximum takeoff weight of 5.5 kg and made of aeronautical composite material, features a wingspan of 2.5 m and a length of 1.16 m. Its cruising speed is 13 m/s, with a maximum speed of 25 m/s and a line of sight range between 10-15 km. The UAV employs electrical batteries for power and operates in both day and night conditions.

Equipped with a Colibri 212 camera, the Coelum UAV offers optical and digital zoom capabilities (X20 optical and X40 digital). The camera, weighing 180 grams, has a thermal resolution of 640x480 megapixels and versatile horizontal and vertical viewing angles. The UAV's EO/IR sensor auto-stabilized gimbal ensures effective target tracking, and it can be programmed and controlled from the ground station.

The Coelum's secure data transmission system, Silbos, guarantees encrypted communication with a ground control unit, enhancing its reliability and safety. Its portability allows for quick assembly, making it suitable for various operational scenarios. CIAC is currently working on a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) version of the Coelum to address the specific needs of the National Police, expanding the UAV's potential applications.

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