PARIS AIR SHOW: Urban displays Mule VTOL UAV

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Israel's Urban Aeronautics' Mule vertical take-off and landing unmanned air vehicle is making its static display debut here among other UAV systems from the Mediterranean state.

The Mule, a logistics UAV that could also evacuate casualties, is expected to make its first flight in Israel this month, although the test was originally planned for April.

Using a Fancraft louvered internal-rotor lift and propulsion system its maximum take-off weight is 1,130kg (2,490lb) with a cargo capacity of 226kg, endurance of up to 4h and 100kt (185km/h) top speed.

Also here is Aeronautics Defense Systems and its Picador helicopter UAV. It has already made its first test flight. Designed for naval and land-based missions its cargo capacity is 180kg with an endurance of up to 8h and a range of 200km (370nm).

The third Israeli VTOL capable UAV here this week is Israel Aerospace Industries' Naval Rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. It is to be capable of 6h missions at a distance of 120km from its ship to provide early warning and detection of aircraft, cruise missiles and enemy surface vessels.

Beyond the newly flight tested and yet to be designed, two operational UAVs Israel will display here are the medium-altitude long-endurance vehicles, the IAI Heron TP and the Elbit Systems Hermes 450. The Hermes 450B is also the Watchkeeper for UK armed forces and could be test flown in that country later this year.

"Israel pioneered the field of unmanned systems 30 years ago and continues to lead this market with evolutionary and revolutionary technologies," says Israel's Export and International Cooperation Institute chairman, David Arzi. "Equally exciting are the payloads, avionic systems, datalinks and command and control systems that make the entire system".

Another new development is Aeronautics' long endurance twin-engines Dominator II. Unveiled last year it can carry payloads up to 400kg, has an operational ceiling of over 30,000ft (9,150m) and endurance of 28h.

At the other end of the spectrum are the smaller UAVs. Aeronautics' has various versions of its Orbiter, an electrically powered 1m-long vehicle with an endurance of up to 4.5h and ceiling of 18,000ft. Its new variant is to fly for 7h.

The smallest Israeli UAV making its debut is the Micro-Falcon I. Designed for being carried and operated by one person it weighs 6kg and carries the MicroBat 275 electro-optical payload developed by Bental Industries. This lightweight payload is expected to extend the mini-UAV's endurance to 2h.