Newly founded Israeli manufacturer Meteor is planning to offer a range of affordable and tailor-made unmanned air vehicles to international customers, its new chief executive has revealed.
The former president of fellow UAV manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries, Itzhak Nissan, has stepped up as the company's new chairman and chief executive, and claims Meteor will develop complete solutions based on other UAVs and “robotic systems”.
The company aims to reach a stage at which it is capable of demonstrating at least one UAV.
Nissan did not go into specifics regarding current developmental work, but says the systems under development will fit under the Missile Technology Control Regime’s category two threshold, which means the system will have a range of equal to or less than 162nm (300km) and a payload of equal to or less than 500kg (1,100lb).
Sources from the Israeli ministry of defence say the current effort is to demonstrate an affordable UAV with a maximum take-off weight of 350kg, while other sources believe the first UAV designed by Meteor will begin flight tests at the end of this year.
The sources add that Meteor has approached smaller Israeli UAV manufacturers to try and reach co-operation agreements, and negotiations are ongoing.
Nissan notes that he has no intention of competing with IAI: "We come with a new approach. We will help the potential customer to define his operational needs and then will tailor a solution – and I mean a comprehensive one," he says.
It is estimated that the initial investment in the company was some $15 million, and the main investor is an Israeli businessman.