The two Israeli companies still contesting the Finnish armed forces' competition to select an unmanned air system face two more rounds of evaluation. One will be held in Finland and the other in Israel within the coming weeks.

Finnish evaluators will use the phase in Israel to learn about the manufacturing capabilities of the finalists: Aeronautics Defense Systems and BlueBird.

The companies are offering their respective Orbiter 2 and SpyLite designs to meet Finland's surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance systems requirement.

Sources said on 25 October a final selection is expected during November, with a contract signing to occur after the Finland presidential elections, scheduled for January 2012.

Finland's defence ministry plans to acquire between 30 and 45 of the selected unmanned system under a programme valued at about $25 million.

Source: Flight International