Israel Aerospace Industries has been working on increasing the endurance of its BirdEye 650D unmanned air vehicle, providing capabilities that stretch beyond those of regular small tactical systems.
According to Dan Bichman, UAV marketing manager at IAI's Malat division, the endurance of the BirdEye 650D UAV is now "over 15h", but he was not able to be more specific.
The BirdEye 650D is the most sophisticated of IAI's family of small tactical UAVs. The newest version has been designed for use by tactical-level infantry units, but with a "stretched envelope" for increased performance.
Bichman says the UAV can be launched from the ground or from a vehicle, and in both cases a catapult is used. Recovery is based on a combination of a parachute and air bags.
The basic configuration includes the Controp day/night T-Stamp payload that also has a laser designator.
"The long endurance of this UAV is the main reason for the big demand,” Bichman says. “The assembly line is busy all the time as new orders arrive. In recent months, civil clients are [also] part of the backlog.
He adds that the endurance of the UAV, plus the variety of plug-and-play payloads, makes it suitable for civil, as well as military applications.