Israeli-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are being used in protecting US-owned oilfields in Angola, sources inform ''Globes''.
ChevronTexaco Corporation (NYSE:CVX) will pay $4 million to Israeli UAV manufacturer Aeronautics Defense Systems, for protection and patrol services in the areas where it operates in Angola. An Israeli company brokered the deal between Chevron and Aeronautics. The contract is for a two-year period.
Aeronautics, owned by private investors and TASE-traded JOEL Jerusalem Oil Exploration Ltd., manufactures UAVs for military and civilian use. The UAV used in Angola is the Aerostar model, which is capable of short-range missions, day or night. Negotiations between the parties commenced about one and a half years ago, during which time the UAV's abilities and technologies were tested.
Sources further inform ''Globes'' that one of the UAVs in Angola crashed. The accident occurred during a test flight for the project.
Aeronautics has been in operation since 1997, and employs 200 workers at its production facility in Yavne, which is also where development takes place. In addition to UAVs, the company has developed a universal miniature avionics system, called UMAS, an off-the-shelf solution for UAV avionics.
The company says that non-Israeli companies have used the UMAS product. It has also been used by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) in the Vertigo UAV, the US Navy's Exdrone, Microcraft's VTOL, Emit Aviation Consultancy's Blue Horizon, and number of what the company termed "classified projects".
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on 14 October 2003