An Israeli firm will unveil an unmanned helicopter next week that can carry out advanced surveillance and intelligence missions.
Developed by Steadicopter, the Black Eagle 50 mini rotary UAV is just over two meters long and can carry a minimal payload of 3 kg. The unmanned helicopter can stay in the air for up to three hours and reach altitudes of 9,000 feet. It can transmit footage back to a command center from distances up to 150 km.
The helicopter will be unveiled at the 2009 Israel Defense International Army & Police Exhibition, which will open next week in Tel Aviv. Forty companies from 11 different countries will display their wares at the expo, which will be visited by official delegations from over 25 countries.
The advantage of the helicopter is that, due to its small size, it can collect intelligence from places that standard UAVs would have difficulty reaching. Since it is a helicopter, it can also loiter in the same place for an extended period and is not dependent on special launch or landing conditions.
The unmanned helicopter is controlled by a two-man team which can simply point and click on a digital map, which then sends the aircraft to the target.
Another system to be unveiled at the expo is the Personal IR Marker - developed by TAR Ideal Concepts - which can help prevent friendly-fire incidents, a number of which occurred during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year and the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
The small gadget can be positioned on a soldier's helmet or gear, and using infrared technology it provides a signal that enables precise identification by other friendly forces. The infrared technology is not visible to the naked eye but can be seen by friendly forces with special vision devices.
TAR is also unveiling the Omer 1 special rappelling equipment which uses a quick release mechanism developed specially for SWAT and Special Forces. With the Omer 1, rappelling can be done with one hand - either left or right - and can be stopped automatically if the handle is released. This enable soldiers or SWAT members to continue using their weapons while rappelling from a building.
Israel Military Industries has also developed two new anti-tank missile defense systems. One is called the "Shock Absorber" and is the first type of system in the world that deflects the path of an incoming anti-tank missile with electronic signals.
Utilizing a laser-based jammer, the system breaks into the anti-tank missile's electronic guidance system and sends it in a different direction. The Shock Absorber is ideal for troops deployed inside homes in enemy territory and can protect them against advanced anti-tank missiles.
It was successfully used during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year. IMI is also developing the Iron Fist anti-tank missile defense system, which has been chosen by the General Staff as the active-protection system for the IDF's new Namer armored personnel carrier.