Orbital UAV has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with an undisclosed major Singapore-based defence company.

The MoU includes the design, development and initial low-rate production of multi-fuel engines for unmanned air vehicles (UAV).

Work under the MoU will be covered in three phases.

The first phase will focus on the development, integration and delivery of a first prototype multi-fuel engine.

Under Phase 1 of the programme, an initial contract has been signed between the parties to allow Orbital to start work on the engine.

Work under Phase 1 development is expected to conclude within 18 months.

Following the successful completion of Phase 1, additional prototype engines will be supplied to further assess customer requirements.

The last phase of development will commence after the completion and acceptance of the former phases.

A low-rate production could be formally sanctioned by the customer for the multi-fuel engine.

Orbital UAV CEO and managing director Todd Alder said: “The MoU and initial contract provide us with the opportunity to further demonstrate our industry-leading know-how and technical expertise in the UAV market with a new international customer.”

In a statement, Orbital said that the MoU is binding and dependent on the ‘successful completion and acceptance’ by Phase 1 customer.

It is also based on the ‘mutual agreement of terms and conditions of subsequent contracts for Phases 2 and 3’.