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IAI looks for Panther investment

Israel Aerospace Industries is looking for a foreign partner to invest in the full development of its Panther/K-80 tiltrotor unmanned air vehicle.

The company’s search for an outside investor follows the refusal of the Israeli defence ministry of its request to extend the deadline to receive tenders for a brigade-level UAV. IAI had requested more time to complete the development of its new tiltrotor, with responses having been due by 20 September.

“As the test flights continue we are looking for a partner that will share the investment involved in the full development of the system. We see big potential for the system in foreign markets,” a senior IAI source says.

© Israel Aerospace Industries

The Panther uses an innovative automatic flight-control system to control the transitions between its hovering take-off phase and forward flight, and back before landing.

Powered by three electric motors, the UAV has a maximum take-off weight of 65kg (143lb), can reach an altitude of up 10,000ft (3,050m) and can loiter for roughly 6h.

It carries IAI’s Mini-POP payload, which comprises an electro-optical/infrared camera, laser range finder, pointer or laser designator.

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