The development of unmanned air vehicles as battlefield casualty evacuation platforms has spurred an Israeli effort to develop efficient countermeasures to protect the systems.
“The nature of the unmanned casualty evacuation platforms that are now under development dictate the needed measures that will be taken to ensure the safe short sprint from the forward fighting zone to a field hospital,” says one Israeli source. These are likely to require a combination of active countermeasures, low noise and heat signatures and an appropriate flight profile.
Israeli sources say equipping such rescue UAVs with more protective systems will be a “logical” progression, and mention as an example Rafael’s active Trophy system, which is used to protect the nation’s Merkava 4 main battle tanks. The Trophy equipment detects incoming projectiles and discharges countermeasures intended to intercept them before they reach their target.
© Urban Aeronautics
Could the AirMule UAV receive countermeasures like those on the Merkava 4 tank?
Urban Aeronautics is offering its developmental AirMule system as a potential casualty evacuation asset. Its current ducted fan design has a maximum take-off weight of 1,090kg (2,400lb), including a payload of up to 400kg.