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Poland cancels Aerostar UAV purchase

Poland's defence ministry has cancelled a contract to purchase Aerostar unmanned air systems from Israeli company Aeronautics, and will also ask for compensation.

Signed in 2010 and covering two systems, the $35 million purchase was made in order to deploy the UAS in Afghanistan, where Polish army units are part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

Warsaw's deal included the development of an automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) capability, with this to have enabled the unmanned aircraft to approach and land safely in windy conditions and other ground effects encountered in the operational area.

Aeronautics encountered problems with the ATOL capability, which led to it failing to meet the delivery schedule agreed in the contract. The company, which has yet to comment on the Polish decision, has also faced other problems during recent months, with sources saying that a disagreement between its shareholders has delayed some projects.



Originally due to have entered use with the Polish military in Afghanistan in late 2010, the Aerostar is 4.5m (14.8ft) long, has a wingspan of 7.5m and a maximum take-off weight of 210kg (463lb). It has a 12h endurance and a loitering speed of 60kt (111km/h).

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