Brazil's Caçador unmanned air vehicle – an adapted version of the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron 1 – has received approval from the nation's defence ministry as a so-called strategic defence product, following a series of flight tests conducted in different areas of its territory.

Made in advance of April's LAAD Defence & Security show in Rio de Janeiro, the development stems from a three-year relationship between IAI and its Brazilian partner, Avionics Services, which have worked together to establish in-country expertise and a UAV centre at Botucatu airfield.

First flown in its prototype form last year, the medium-altitude, long-endurance Caçador has a flight endurance of over 40h and a service ceiling of 30,000ft. Its maximum take-off weight of 1,270kg (2,800lb) includes an ability to carry multiple payloads simultaneously.

IAI points to the type's satellite communication capability, which it says enables it to be operated more than 540nm (1,000km) away from its ground control station. The company says it is capable of undertaking roles including “border control, [monitoring] illegal activities, environmental monitoring, pollution control, [supporting] oil and gas industries, precision agriculture and military missions”.

Cacador - IAI

Israel Aerospace Industries

Source: Flight International