Barak at IAI with Ghost UAV drone 311.
(photo credit: GIDEON MARKOWICZ)
At first sight it looks like a toy model of a Chinook helicopter, the twin engine, tandem rotor helicopter used by the United States Army. It is however something completely different.
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Called the “Ghost”, this Chinook-looking aircraft is Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI’s) latest unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), unveiled on Tuesday during a visit Defense Minister Ehud Barak made to the Israeli defense giant.
During his visit, Barak praised the quality of IAI’s products and said
that the company was making a significant contribution to Israel’s
standing around the world as a leader in the development of military
IAI Chairman Yair Shamir and CEO Itzhak Nissan gave Barak a tour of the
facility and presented him some of the company’s new inventions. One
platform which they unveiled especially for Barak was the “Ghost” a new
tiltrotor UAV which has the ability to land and take off vertically from
The new UAV was developed by IAI’s Malat Division, which has
manufactured the company’s long list of drones including the Heron TP, a
squadron of which was declared operational by the Israel Air Force
(IAF) in February.
The Ghost weighs just four kilograms and is intended for operations in
urban settings for reconnaissance missions. It has a quiet propulsion
system and has a range of about four kilometers with the ability to fly
at speeds up to 35 knots.
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Referring to the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa,
Barak said that Israel needed to retain its military superiority to
ensure its continued survival in the region.
“These are major changes that will impact the Middle East for years to
come,” Barak said. “Our security is in our hands and we need to retain
military superiority, readiness and a high level of alert as well as out
special relationship with the United States.”
The Ghost is the second tiltrotor UAV to be developed by IAI. In October
the Malat Division unveiled the Panther, which can also takeoff and
Larger than the Ghost, the Panther has a take-off weight of about 60 kg
and the ability to remain airborne for about 6 hours with a variety of
payloads. It has a wingspan of 8 m.
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