Procurement: Israeli UAV Flies For Islam


May 19, 2012: Finland has ordered 55 Israeli Orbiter 2 UAV systems. An Orbiter 2 UAV weighs 9.5 kg (21 pounds) and its battery powered motor can keep it in the air for about three hours per sortie. Maximum altitude is 3,200 meters and top speed is 120 kilometers an hour. Since the UAV can't operate more than 80 kilometers from the controller top speed is rarely needed.

The Orbiter is launched by a catapult. It lands via parachute, is waterproof, and floats. One of the three UAVs each system has can then be launched while the other has its battery replaced and the parachute repacked and be ready for another sortie in under ten minutes. The day/night vidcam transmits video back to the handheld controller, where the images can be stored. The Orbiter can also be used at sea, and Israel uses them on some of its patrol boats. Nearby Poland also bought Orbiter 2, as have several other military and police forces outside Israel. 

One of the export customers is Azerbaijan, which formed a joint venture to build Orbiter 2 in Azerbaijan. Because Azerbaijan is a Moslem country Orbiter 2 can then be sold to other Moslem nations (which normally will not buy anything from Israel).




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