Vietnam has acquired the Orbiter 2 unmanned air system (UAS) for use as an aerial forward observation asset for its artillery corps.

The Orbiter 2 is manufactured by Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems, which says using a UAS instead of a ground-based forward observation officer will provide an improved "first round on target" capability for its customer.An Orbiter 2 flying at 2,000ft can supply artillery units with the co-ordinates of "a number" of targets, it adds.

Aeronautics sources say the Orbiter 2 is also now being offered by Rafael as part of deals that include the latter's Spike air-to-surface missiles, and by Israel Military Industries along with its surface-to-surface rockets.

An upgraded version of the Aeronautics aircraft is also available, with the Orbiter 2B capable of navigating independently to complete a mission, even if GPS is jammed or communication links lost. This variant also can carry payloads to assist with intelligence gathering.