Israel seeks to boost presence in US unmanned market

Stark Aerospace has unveiled its ArrowLite hand-launched, single-operator tactical UAS, as its parent company seeks to bolster its presence in the US market.

The ArrowLite, launched this week, provides the tactical operator with a rapidly deployable lightweight aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. Weighing 3kg (6.5lb), it can be assembled and hand launched in 60-90s after removal from a waterproof carry case. It features a day/night thermal twin-axis mechanically gimballed stabilised payload with laser illuminator and data link.

The company was set up in 2009 and is owned by Israel Aerospace Industries’ US subsidiary, IAI North America. Stark says the UAS has a range of 2.7-8.1nm (5-15km) on the data link, can reach speeds up to 55kt (101km/h), is capable of remaining airborne for up to 2.75h (launch to land) and is controlled using the lightweight, ruggedised operator control unit.

The ArrowLite was designed, developed and manufactured with support from the US Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office of the Department of Defense.  The CTTSO awarded Stark a contract to develop the ArrowLite system for use by special operations and counter terrorism units. Thirteen systems, consisting of thirty-nine  air vehicles, associated ground support equipment and spares have been delivered to date.

The ArrowLite system can survive rugged environmental conditions and can support a variety of missions, including insertion by military free-fall.

In addition to the ArrowLite, Stark produces the Hunter MQ-5B tactical UAS used by the US Army in support of operations around the globe.

Sources say this is only the beginning and that Stark will continue to tailor UAS to the US market based on IAI’s experience developing technology for US special forces, a process made easier via the US subsidiary.

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