IAI demonstrates Air Hopper unmanned helicopter

Air Hopper  photo: IAI

Israel Aerospace Industries VP Shaul Shahar: This will open many doors for us in local and global markets, military and civilian alike.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced that its unmanned systems division has successfully completed a proof of concept of its Air Hopper unmanned helicopter to senior defense officials and the IDF. The Air Hopper took a part in a demonstration that covered two scenarios. One simulated the evacuation of a seriously-wounded soldier, including airborne monitoring of vital. The second scenario simulated carrying logistic supplies to an isolated force in the front line.

The Air Hopper is based on a small, manned helicopter with a payload of 100-180 kg (depending on the model), flight time of two hours and speed of up to 120 km/h. Itis powered by an internal combustion engine that uses ordinary, 95-octane fuel. Its price is considerably lower than that of a manned transport helicopter. "This allows procurement of multiple unmanned helicopters to achieve flexible deployment and low-cost provisioning to the front lines while significantly mitigating the risk to human life," IAI says.

According to IAI, the system's open architecture makes it compatible with a range of platforms with no need for special adaptations. The Air Hopper can operate by day or night, and in any weather.

IAI also unveiled today a system that enables a convoy of vehicles to move on the battlefield by remote control, again reducing the danger to lives of personnel.

The system in effect converts normal manned vehicles into robotic vehicles. For example, armored vehicles that carry supplies and ammunition to front-line forces will be controlled by an operator in a safe area.

IAI Military Aircraft Group corporate VP and general manager Shaul Shahar said, "The proof of concept step is an important milestone for IAI in the world of unmanned vehicles, developing the future battlefield and in offering optimal unmanned operational solutions that minimize the risk to human lives as much as possible. I believe these developments will open many doors for us in local and global markets, military and civilian alike."

Meanwhile, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. plans to unveil a remote-controlled weapons system, the Samson RWS, that it has developed. The system is in fact already operational with several armed forces, but although Rafael has sold some 5,500 units of the system to various customers around the world, it will exhibited publicly for the first time at the AUSA annual meeting and exposition that will take place shortly in Washington DC. The system enables the crew of an armored vehicle to load and fire its weapons without exposing themselves to enemy fire.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 2, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

Air Hopper  photo: IAI
Air Hopper photo: IAI
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