Israel Aerospace Industries is continuing its efforts to offer an unmanned version of a manned helicopter.
Two years after a joint venture between IAI and India's Hindustan Aeronautics aimed at developing an unmanned version of the latter's Dhruv advanced light helicopter was abandoned, the Israeli company is now moving ahead alone.
According to one source, the firm's plan is to use a more advanced helicopter of the Airbus Helicopters EC145 class that has a fly-by-wire flight control system. Any such adaptation will be designed to meet the international Missile Technology Control Regime regulations that are aimed at limiting the range and payload carrying capacity of unmanned systems sold to international customers. Israel is not a signatory to the treaty, but follows its limitations.
IAI has identified a need for an unmanned helicopter for military use, especially for operations from naval vessels. Other potential customers are emergency services that have to operate in danger zones.