18 February 2014
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is again investing in an effort to develop an unmanned version of a manned helicopter.
Almost two years after a joint venture between IAI and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) aimed at developing an unmanned version of the Dhruv helicopter was abandoned, the Israeli company is now moving ahead alone.
A source said that this time the plan is to use a more advanced helicopter of the Eurocopter EC-145 class that has a fly by wire flight control system.
The source added that the unmanned helicopter will be designed to meet the MTCR 2 regulations that are aimed at limiting the range and carrying capability of unmanned systems. Israel has not signed the MTCR treaty but follows its limitations.
An IAI source said that the company has identified a growing demand for unmanned military helicopters, especially for navy ships. Other potential customers include various rescue and emergency services.
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