Photo above: Iranian Ababil S
In the UAV field, companies highlighted primarily the small platforms. The German EMT company discussed their new Fancopter , a micro UAV designed for surveillance missions in urban terrain. Other UAVs at Defendory included the Skylite B from RAFAEL, which recently made its combat debut, flown by RAFAEL’s teams operating in support of IDF ground troops during the August 2006 war in Lebanon. RAFAEL also displayed its unmanned surface vessel, the Protector.
Sokus Robots, a domestic producer of robotic platforms introduced several new platforms, including a lightweight weapon carrier, demonstrated with two RPG launchers and an elevated surveillance platform, utilizing a small jet turbine to keep the tethered platform in position, elevated at about 1000 meters for up to 50 hours. The platform has several windows mounting various surveillance means, providing complete hemisphere coverage. Two other UAVs represented at the show follow more traditional approaches – the Night Intruder 2, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries can carry payloads of a total weight of 45 kg on missions of nine hours and the Iranian Ababil S, (swallow) a version of the Ababil platform produced by Iran’s Aircraft Manufacturing Industry. The vehicle was displayed with a large stabilized electro-optical payload system, different from previously shown integral, blended sensors. If the Ababil actually uses this payload, it is most likely to deploy from catapult and retrieved by parachute and airbag system.