Israel's Aeronautics Defense Systems plans to conduct the first flight of its Diamond Aircraft DA42-derived Dominator 2 strategic unmanned air vehicle in May, while first details have emerged of its work to also adpat the Canadian company's D-Jet very light jet for unmanned applications.
Powered by two TAE Centurion diesel engines, the composite DA42 can be equipped with a variety of payloads for surveillance applications. Aeronautics president Avi Leumi believes the use of a certificated twin design will shorten the process for the company to secure approval to fly the UAV in civil airspace. He reveals that Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries had also sought to negotiate with Diamond on a possible co-operation agreement, but says: "We managed to sign the contract and we believe in the potential of this special UAV."
© Diamond Aircraft/Tim Bicheno-Brown
Leumi, meanwhile, confirms that Aeronautics is currently converting a D-Jet VLJ (pictured above) in Canada for unmanned missions, but further details have not been released on the project.
Source: Flight International