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IAI to offer unmanned helicopter

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has become the latest company to offer an unmanned helicopter for combat resupply and medevac missions.

Avi Bleser, marketing director of IAI's Malat UAS division, said that although tests of the automated flight control system have so far been performed on a Bell 212, the system is platform neutral.

Blesser said that to prove the accuracy of its flight control system, a basketball was attached to the helicopter with a rope. The aircraft was manoeuvred using the ground station to repeatedly place the ball into the basket.

IAI plans to use the same ground station to control the helicopter as it already uses for its fixed-wing UAVs to ensure "commonalty and ease of operation".

The IAI initiative comes after fellow Israeli company Elbit Systems won a contract in May to develop a cargo unmanned air system for the Israel Defense Forces.

The project has been dubbed the "Flying Elephant" and is aimed at providing front-line resupply missions.

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