Finland has selected the Israeli Orbiter-2 mini-UAV system for its next generation Unmanned Aerial System to be used in support of the tactical ground forces. The acquisition of 55 systems is expected to be worth about 23 million Euros. The Orbiter has already been exported to several international customers, among them Poland.
At a maximum takeoff weight below 10kg, this electrically powered aircraft, Orbiter uses a classical 3 meter span flying-wing design, to stay in the air on a four hour mission, at a range of 30-80 km, and a ceiling up to 18,000 ft, carrying a nose mounted stabilized electro-optical payload (STAMP) provided by Aeronautics’ subsidiary Controp(Aeronautics owns 51 percent of the company while Rafael owns 49 percent). With the Orbiter’s payload capacity it can carry one payload on a mission – either the daylight, thermal or thermal-zoom variants of the STAMP, weighing up to 1.2 kg. Aeronautics has recently demonstrated the support of the Controp M-STAMP multi-sensor payload (1.2kg) carrying both CCD and a thermal imager. With this advanced payload the Orbiter supports advanced observations modes, including inertial target tracking, hold or point to coordinate, scan or mosaic modes and ‘pilot window’ support.
Aeronautics is also offering a larger version of the Orbiter, capable of missions lasting seven hours. For this version Controp is providing a larger, multi-sensor payload known as the T-STAMP, carrying day and night sensors plus laser designator. However, the Finnish Army was interested in the medium-weight version only.