Aeronautics wins $20m order in Asia

A Southeast Asian air force has placed an order for the company next-generation Aerostar tactical UAV.

Aeronautics Defense Systems CEO Amos Matan has won his first order: the air force of a Southeast Asian country has placed a $20 million order for the company's Aerostar tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). This is the company's second order from this customer, whose name it did not disclose.

The order is for the next-generation Aerostar, including real-time intelligence gathering systems, digital communications, and ground control stations. The UAVs will give the customer real-time intelligence gathering, target acquisition, and monitoring capability.

Aeronautics said that this was the first big order under the company's new CEO, who took up his post in April. The order comes after the Yavne-based company went through a severe crisis, which included cash flow problems that required financial restructuring under which Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI) and Israel Discount Bank (TASE: DSCT) rescheduled their credit to the company. The rescue package included a $15 million investment by KCPS Clarity Ltd., Viola Private Equity, and the Bereshit debt recycling fund.

Matan said, "Aeronautics went through a difficult and challenging period in many respects, but I see this contract as further vote of confidence in the company's products by the international defense community.

Aeronautics has sold the Aerostar to 15 customers worldwide, including the IDF, the US Navy, and the Royal Dutch Army, which used it operationally in Afghanistan. The Aerostar weighs 230 kilograms, has an altitude of 18,000 feet, and a range of over 200 kilometers. It can carry payloads for night operations.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on September 16, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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