The Israeli navy is assessing the deployment of a fixed-wing extremely short take-off and landing (ESTOL) unmanned air vehicle on its new fleet of corvettes.
ESTOL UAVs are being evaluated as the Israeli navy continues to define what aerial systems it will deploy on-board its four new Saar 6 corvettes and existing SAAR 5 missile vessels.
The ESTOL UAV will be based on propulsive lift technology that will enable it to take off from a very small platform on the navy ship.
The idea has previously been evaluated for commercial aircraft but in recent years it has been considered for use in UAVs.
Israeli sources said “some very interesting ideas” were being evaluated, but no decision is expected before the end of 2017.
Advanced Programs Group (APG) is one company that is developing this type of UAV, and has performed successful test flights with a scaled-down prototype.
The full-scale ESTOL UAV developed by this company will take off from a 2m surface and have a maximum take-off weight of 500kg (1,100lb), including a 200kg payload.