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Romania halts Orbiter 4 procurement after appeal

Romania has halted procedures following its selection of Aeronautics Defense Systems' Orbiter 4 unmanned air vehicle, after an appeal against the decision launched by rival Israeli manufacturers.

Conflicting reports have emerged as to whether the choice of UAV has been suspended or cancelled, but sources in Romania indicate it is likely a new tender will be issued for the requirement within the next two months.

After Romania selected the Orbiter 4, Israeli firms BlueBird and Israel Aerospace Industries appealed on the grounds that their systems – the ThunderB and BirdEye 650 – more closely matched Bucharest's stated performance requirements.

A renewed competition is likely to lead to repeat bids by the rival Israeli companies, along with other UAV manufacturers.

Aeronautics says the Orbiter 4 has a flight endurance of more than 24h. With a maximum take-off weight of 50kg (110lb), the the air vehicle has a service ceiling of 18,000ft.

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