Israel Aerospace Industries has unveiled a new variant of its mini unmanned air vehicle, the Bird-Eye 650.

The aircraft's new propulsion system is powered by fuel cells that allow for an endurance of 6h, doubling the performance of previous versions of the Bird-Eye. The new variant will also weigh less and include an advanced folding launcher.

"The improvements of the Bird-Eye 650 make it an even more cost-effective system," says Tommy Silberring, general manager of IAI's Malat division.

"The Bird-Eye 650 was developed using experience we garnered from the Bird-Eye 400, which in turn was developed based on our knowledge of other UAVs, such as the Heron," Silberring says.

 IAI Bird-Eye 650
 © IAI
IAI Bird-Eye 650

IAI says the Bird-Eye 650 is an advanced, affordable mini-UAS that can provide real-time day/night imagery data for urban operations and "over the hill" intelligence.

Each system consists of three air vehicles with electro-optical/infrared payloads, plus a portable ground control system, datalink, power source and repair equipment. The entire system is man-portable and can be deployed in the field by two people.

The portable ground control system is lightweight and allows for the automatic operation of the UAV and its payloads, while the datalink allows for digital ground communication. The system uses a man-portable remote video terminal and a ground control element.

Source: Flight International