IAI demos Air Hopper for IDF
Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) unmanned helicopter has completed a proof-of-concept demonstration for the Israel Defence Force, the company announced on 2 October.
The Air Hopper demonstration involved two scenarios: one simulated the carrying of a wounded soldier to an extraction point for medical treatment, with airborne monitoring of the soldier's vital signs and real time dispatch to the ground; the other was a simulated transport of logistic supplies to an isolated force on a battlefield.
Air Hopper is a small helicopter with a payload of 100-180kgs, with a flight time of two hours and speed of up to 120km per hour. The aircraft uses an internal combustion engine which uses ordinary, 95-octane fuel.
The autonomous tactical system is designed to transport logistic equipment to the battlefield during operations to minimise the risks faced by logistic convoys en-route such as damage caused by roadside explosives, ambushes or anti-tank weapons. The operator using the autonomous system can supervise the execution of the mission and the convoy's vehicles in real time from a safe area outside the threat range.
The system can move accurately over prolonged periods of time, day or night, in tough field conditions and in any weather.
The unmanned helicopter's control system can also manage other operational capabilities such as vehicle control, real time planning and updating of routes, updating the convoy's behaviour attributes, real time receipt of mission data and a data communication system that enables it to communicate with the vehicles.
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