Israel’s Sky Sapience company has delivered today to the Israel Defense Forces’ Land Forces Command the first pre-production example of the HoverMast 100 – an autonomous, tethered hovercraft carrying a stabilized electro-optical payload. The system was delivered at a proving ground on the slopes of Mt. Carmel, where the company regularly tests the systems.
The system will now enter operational evaluation with the IDF, leading to operational use with front line units. The company CEO and founder Gabriel Shahor said the company is currently establishing the assembly line for the new product line, once the line is active, the company is expected to deliver additional Hovermasts to international customers. Sky Sapience will demonstrate the Hovermast 100 at the Autonomous, Unmanned Systems & Robotics (AUS&R) convention taking place in Israel November 26.
Hovermast answers the requirement for rapid and timely intelligence gathering at the tactical echelon. The system employs a sophisticated, electrically powered platform using a main lift fan and four stabilizing rotors, maintaining the platform in flight, hovering and maintaining stable line of sight with a target of interest even when subjected to strong winds or wind gusts. The system carries sophisticated multi-sensor payloads operating day and night under all weather conditions. Hovermast 100 carries 13 pounds (6 kg) of payloads. Exclusive insight available to members – subscribe now!
In the stowed position the HoverMast automatically folds into a compact 72 cm diameter container, carried on a vehicle flatbed or roof, mounted on UGVs or All Terrain Vehicles (ATV), or small naval craft; making the system especially suited for Special Forces, border and port protection, and infantry missions.
Sky Sapience is currently developing three variants of the system – Hovermast 100 is the first model developed to meet the IDF requirements. A larger system, capable of carrying heavier payloads is being developed for a foreign customer. Two additional variants are also in progress – Hovermast M for use in maritime environments (on board manned or unmanned vessels) and Hovermast C, featuring simpler, a more affordable platform and intuitive operation is also designed for civilian operators.