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Israel unveils new tilt-rotor propelled UAV 'Panther'

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The new UAV Panther. An IAI photo

JERUSALEM (BNS): Israel Aerospace Industries has announced that it will unveil its new “revolutionary” tilt-rotor propelled unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Panther during the Latrun Conference in Israel starting on Tuesday.

The new aircraft will be showcased internationally in the US later this month which will also include “Mini Panther” – the miniature version of Panther.

According to IAI, the new UAV combines the flight capabilities of an aircraft with helicopter-like hovering capability. It features a tilt-rotor propeller, and a fixed wing vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) system, which enable a runway-free takeoff and landing on an unprepared area.

This unique concept has been patented by IAI, it said.

With its 3 “ultra-quiet” electrical motors, the Panther, which weighs roughly 65 kg, can loiter for approximately 6 hours, at an altitude of up to 10,000 feet, with a radius of operation of over 60 km.

The UAV carries IAI's Mini-POP (Plug-in Optronic Payload) - a day/night stabilized camera with a laser range finder, pointer or laser designator.

The Mini Panther, weighing up to 12 kg, can hover for around two hours and also carries the Mini-POP.

Prototypes of the Panther platform have conducted successful flight tests and will be operational by 2011, IAI said. The new UAVs will be used for tactical missions.


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