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Aeronautics unveils Orbiter 2 loitering munition variant

6th June 2024 - 17:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The Orbiter 2 LM has been developed from the original ISTAR UAS version. (Image: Aeronautics)

The Orbiter 2 is a lightweight, compact, man-portable mini-UAS with tactical capabilities, designed to support border protection, homeland security, ISTAR, low-intensity conflict, maritime surveillance and urban warfare operations.

Aeronautics has developed a kinetic version of its Orbiter 2 ISR UAS, the Orbiter 2LM (Loitering Munition), which has commonality with the original platform across communications data link, control station and operational software.

Both LM and ISR variants have high-resolution day and IR electro-optic payloads, onboard automatic target recognition and video motion detection for increased operational capabilities.

The two variants use the same basic airframe and while few details have been revealed of the changes in specifications, Aeronautics lists Orbiter 2 LM with an endurance of two hours while the ISR model has an endurance of three hours. The difference is likely to relate to the increased weight of the kinetic warhead compared to lighter electronic and EO payloads.

The two platforms form what the company describes as the Orbiter 2 STS (Sensor-to-Shooter) mission system with the ISR UAV latter providing post-operation battle damage assessment.

The platforms are electric-powered with low acoustic and optical signatures. The system is operated by a team of two personnel after, according to the company, only a few weeks of training.

Both variants have a wingspan of 3m, a length of 0.9m and a maximum take-off weight of 13kg with a line-of-sight datalink range of 50km.

The Shephard News Team


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