Serbians go to Israel for Orbiter unmanned air vehicle training

Tel Aviv
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Serbian soldiers are expected to arrive soon in Israel for training to operate an Orbiter unmanned aircraft system to be supplied by Aeronautics for $700,000 and delivered soon after training is complete.

There are three variants of the flying wing-shaped unmanned air vehicle. Orbiter-1 is 1m (3.3ft) long with a 2.2m wingspan, 2-3h endurance, maximum take-off weight of 6kg (13.2lb) and maximum altitude of 18,000ft. It can carry a day or night payload.

Orbiter-2 is undergoing test flights. It has the same fuselage but a 3m wing and 5h endurance.

Orbiter-3 is still in development. It will have a larger volume fuselage, 3.6m wingspan and 6-8h endurance. A Controp-developed 3kg electro-optical payload will have an integral laser pointer.

 Orbiter UAS Aeronautics
 © Aeronautics

Serbian newspaper reports have quoted the country's defence ministry as saying 10 "small" UAVs have been acquired, and that a tender for "more serious" UAVs is expected. Serbia is known to have evaluated Elbit Systems' backpackable Skylark, and there has been some prototype testing of locally designed UAVs.

Serbia's ambitions to acquire UAV capabilities come as tension persists over the status of Kosovo, the largely ethnic Albanian province that declared independence from Serbia earlier this year and has since won recognition by several European countries, including neighbouring Macedonia and Montengro.