Israeli unmanned air vehicle manufacturer Aeronautics Defense Systems is offering the option to operate its Orbiter 3 from surface ships, through the addition ofa net recovery system.

Adaptation of the UAV for sea-based operations comes three years after the company's smaller Orbiter 2 was modified for such applications. That model is operational on Israeli navy vessels.

The Orbiter 3 has a wingspan of 4.2m (13.8ft) and a maximum take-off weight of 28kg (62lb), including a payload of up to 5.5kg. Flight endurance is 7h.

Aeronautics says there is growing demand to operate UAVs from combat vessels, with some navies looking to replace deck-operated manned helicopters. Requirements for such equipment include using an unmanned system to detect "wave height" threats.