Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) has unveiled plans to equip its future unmanned air vehicles with diesel engines. The step is intended to meet the requirements of potential customers such as the Indian armed forces and the US Army, that have shown interest in heavy-fuel engines. The measure will maximise fuel commonality in the field and improve operational safety, the company says.

Zvi Arazi, head of IAI's engineering division, says the firm has been in contact with several diesel engine manufacturers.

Alimiting factor in the use of diesel engines with UAVs has been their weight. However, IAI believes this will become less of an issue with a future class of large air vehicles, such as a low-cost rival to Northrop Grumman's RQ-4 Global Hawk that it hopes to develop with Europe's EADS (Flight International, 20-26 April).

Source: Flight International