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Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Israeli Mini-UAV for urban warfare

From Media Line:
Israel has revealed a new mini-rotary drone designed for stealth maneuvering in urban areas while relaying real-time intelligence to ground forces.

Called the GHOST, the 4 kilogram (9 pound) twin rotary UAV is equipped with an automatic vertical takeoff & landing system; and can loiter for up to 30 minutes, according to its developers at the Israel Aerospace Industries.

Experts say the new UAV, which looks surprisingly similar to the Chinhook transport helicopter, is one of a kind and answers a growing demand for vertical takeoff and landing drones.

The developers plan to unveil the GHOST to the public next week at the Unmanned Systems North America exhibition in Washington D.C., sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). The system was designed with twin rotary electrical engines so it can be silent and support day and night special operation missions, IAI said.

"The innovative concepts used to develop GHOST highlight IAI’s goal to do its utmost to support the ground forces. GHOST demonstrates IAI's leading technology and know-how gathered through years of experience in unmanned aerial systems,” said Itzhak Nissan, IAI's President and CEO.

The unique man-machine interface and operational concept is based on the principles of computer games and makes the system extremely intuitive to operate and requires little training. The entire system can be carried in backpacks by two soldiers and includes: two platforms, batteries, and a command-and-control unit with communications. GHOST is suitable for paramilitary and homeland security applications due to its simplicity and ease of operation.

Because it is so quiet no one can even detect it’s there. It’s designed to be sent in with combat forces and a simple soldier can operate it. Its benefit is that it is quiet and stable,” Arie Egozi, an aviation expert who writes for numerous defense industry publications, told The Media Line.
(h/t Yoel)