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Aeronautics producing 'hundreds' of armed Orbiter 1Ks

Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems has secured substantial orders for its armed Orbiter 1K unmanned air system, according to deputy chief executive Dany Eshchar.

Eshchar declines to identify confirmed customers for the type, but says orders received so far are for “hundreds” of systems. The first examples will be supplied to foreign customers in the coming months, he adds.

Aeronautics’ first loitering weapon system, the Orbiter 1K is based on the structure and properties of its Orbiter 2 UAS. The company says the armed version is launched from a catapult and can fly for 2-3h, also carrying an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) camera.

The system is controlled from a personal ground control station, and can navigate to its intended target either by using its EO/IR sensor or via pre-loaded waypoints.

The Orbiter 1K can be deployed using a “shoot and forget” mode, but if its planned target – either moving or stationary – is not detected, its ground operator can bring it back to perform a safe landing.

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