Elbit Systems has won a contract to develop a cargo unmanned air system for the Israeli defence forces. Dubbed "Flying Elephant", the project is aimed at performing resupply missions to the front line.

Sources said on 15 May that the Elbit design is based on a wheeled cargo pallet that can be loaded with 1t of ammunition, food or water. The pallet is attached to a special parafoil with servo systems that will ensure its aerodynamic shape.

The "Flying Elephant" will be able to fly for a "number of kilometres" and will have a GPS system for navigation to the desired supply point.

The Israeli defence ministry is paying for the development, with test flights due to be conducted next year.

The problem of resupplying Israeli combat units became acute during the second war in Lebanon, in 2006.

Elbit's proposal was selected because of its simplicity and the projected time that will be needed to deploy the system, sources said.

Source: Flight International