Israel Aerospace Industries's Ghost mini hovering unmanned air system will be operational in Israel next year, by which time the design is expected to have a 1h flight endurance.
Currently capable of loitering for up to 30min, the battery-powered Ghost has been designed to provide real-time intelligence to ground forces operating in urban areas. With a maximum take-off weight of 4.5kg (9.9lb), the UAS uses an automatic vertical take-off and landing system and has twin rotary electrical engines to keep noise levels to a minimum.
One Ghost system can be carried in backpacks by two soldiers, with the equipment including two air vehicles with batteries, plus a command and control unit and communications equipment.
IAI says it has created a unique and intuitive man-machine interface and operating concept, which is based on the principles of computer games and requires little specialist training.
According to a company source, there are also plans to test the lightweight system using fuel cell technology.