PICTURES: New Aerostar UAV makes first flight

Tel Aviv
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Aeronautics Defense Systems' Aerostar-C unmanned air vehicle has performed its first series of test flights in Israel.

The largest version of the tactical UAV design has a 10m (32.8ft) wingspan, 2.5m wider than that of the basic configuration. The aircraft is powered by a four-stroke fuel injected engine which produces up to 65hp (48kW).

Aeronautics president Avi Leumi says the Aerostar-C will have an operational endurance of 24h and a 300kg (660lb) maximum take-off weight, including an 80kg payload.

Aeronautics Defense Systems
 © Aeronautics Defense Systems

The new version is aimed mainly at current operators of the Aerostar. Leumi says 131 air vehicles of this type are now in operation with 16 customers.

Last year the Netherlands defence ministry signed a contract worth up to €50 million ($68 million) for the Aerostar system, which is now deployed by Dutch forces in support of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Aeronautics Defense Systems
 © Aeronautics Defense Systems