Aeronautics Defense Systems has provided further details of its $50 million contract to provide Aerostar unmanned air vehicle services to the Dutch armed forces in Afghanistan from later this year.

To be deployed in support of Dutch personnel serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, the tactical UAVs will be operated by personnel from a British firm trained by Aeronautics, says company president Avi Leumi.

Developed by Aeronautics in co-operation with the Israeli Intelligence Corps, the Aerostar has accumulated thousands of operational flight hours with the Israeli defence forces and export users that include Angola and the US Navy.

The UAV has a maximum take-off weight of 210kg (463lb) including a 50kg payload, is 4.5m (14.8ft) long and has a 7.5m wingspan. Maximum endurance is 12h, with a loiter speed of 60kt (111km/h) and a datalink range of more than 200km (108nm).

The Netherlands defence ministry recently selected the Aerostar to deliver interim UAV services in Afghanistan from March 2009 until at least August 2010, with the requirement driven by the need to replace its current Sagem Sperwer systems.

Aerostar - Aeronautics Defense Systems 
 © Aeronautics Defense Systems
Aerostar UAV

Source: Flight International