from the June 2014 issue

IAI unit Stark unveils new mini UAV

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) US subsidiary Stark Aerospace Inc. recently began deliveries of its new mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Aerolight, which it specially designed for US Special Forces with the assistance of the Department of Defense. IAI unveiled the Aerolight today at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems exhibition in Orlando, Florida.

The Aerolight is a manually launched tactical UAV that does not need command and control ground stations like strategic UAVs. It is designed to provide Special Forces with tactical intelligence collected by its StarkLite 200 miniature electro-optical payload for day and night operations.

The Aerolight is carried by a single infantryman. It weighs three kilograms and can be assembled within 60-90 seconds. Its electric motor ensures silent operations that prevents discovery of the forces operating it on the battlefield.

A source at IAI told "Globes" that the mini-UAV is also equipped with a laser pointer and state-of-the-art communications. He says that the UAV can operate in bad weather.

Stark has delivered 13 Aerolights to the US Army out of an order of 40. An IAI source says that the UAV has an endurance of more than two and a half hours, can fly at 25-50 knots, and that, before landing, a kind of elevator pulls the sensitive payload inside the fuselage, preventing damage when the UAV lands on its belly.

Sources at IAI do not rule out that the IDF might procure the Aerolight in the future. IDF ground forces currently use a wide range of mini UAVs similar to the Aerolight, but made by Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT).

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report June 2014

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