Israel's navy plans to operate vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicles from its new Saar 6 corvettes, with the selected type to be used in conjunction with an incoming fleet of Sikorsky SH-60F Seahawk maritime helicopters.
The navy's new corvettes and their embarked aircraft will be used to support operations to protect gas pumping rigs inside Israel's exclusive economic zone. Its air force is expected to field eight ex-US Navy Seahawks for this role and the rotorcraft will gain new equipment including an Elta Systems maritime search radar.
As part of an ongoing evaluation, the navy is considering a number of operational and developmental VTOL UAVs, including Israel Aerospace Industries' Panther. With a maximum take-off weight of 67kg (148lb), this has also already been assessed by the South Korean military.
The Israeli navy had previously expressed an interest in acquiring a fixed-wing extremely short take-off and landing UAV for use from its corvettes.