Israeli companies design unmanned helicopter with precision-fire capabilities

The ever-increasing use of hostile, weaponized aerial vehicles on the battlefield has pushed defense companies to develop systems to counter enemy drones.

 The Golden Eagle unmanned helicopter (photo credit: SMART SHOOTER, STEADICOPTER)
The Golden Eagle unmanned helicopter
(photo credit: SMART SHOOTER, STEADICOPTER)

Two Israeli companies have teamed up to design and develop a Rotary Unmanned Aerial System (RUAS) that has Artificial Intelligence-based precision-fire capabilities.

Meet the Golden Eagle

The ever-increasing use of hostile weaponized aerial vehicles on the battlefield has brought a range of new security threats to the forefront and has pushed defense companies to develop systems to counter enemy drones.

The Golden Eagle unmanned helicopter is manufactured by Steadicopter – an Israeli company that designs RUAS – and Smart Shooter, an Israeli company that designs, develops and manufactures fire control systems.

The unmanned helicopter is based on Steadicopter’s Black Eagle 50E platform which has already been authorized for commercial use in civilian airspace by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) and incorporates Smart Shooter’s AI-based technology, which enables operators to accurately hit static and moving targets while flying.

The Black Eagle provides maritime and land solutions for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance. Operated by a two-man team, the system includes a ground control system, flight control computer, a mission computer, integrated communication system and payload subsystems.

The SMASH Dragon: An armed drone to take out hostile UAVs airborne. (credit: SMART SHOOTER)The SMASH Dragon: An armed drone to take out hostile UAVs airborne. (credit: SMART SHOOTER)

The mobile and easily deployable system has a hover endurance of 30 minutes, a one-hour flight endurance and a maximum data link range of 150 km. It can reach heights of up to about 3,000 m. (10,000 ft.), which allows it to be deployed in a range of operational scenarios.

Powered by electric motors that allow it to perform covert missions, the platform has the ability to take off and land vertically with a covering capability, along with a day and night sensor.

How does the system work?

According to Air Force Magazine, the RUAS is installed with the FlightOps drone operating system that improves its autonomous capabilities such as real-time decision making, mission capabilities and efficiency. It also provides the platform to operate in collaboration with other unmanned aircraft, systems and sensors in order to conduct complex missions.

The SMASH Dragon, which incorporates Smart Shooter’s combat-proven SMASH technology that ensures precision targeting of hostile objects or people, is an advanced robotic weaponry payload that can be mounted on various drones and other unmanned aerial platforms.

The extremely lightweight system, which is remotely operated, has long mission endurance and integrates a unique stabilization concept that allows it to hit targets while flying. It has sophisticated computer vision capabilities and can be used with the Golden Eagle and various types of assault and sniper rifles, as well as 40 mm. and other ammunition.

Smart Shooter has various systems, including the SMASH 2000, which gives troops a precision anti-drone system on their weapon with built-in targeting algorithms that can track and hit high-speed drones at ranges of up to 120 m. with the first shot.

With Smart Shooter’s advanced data processing, the AI system on the platform automatically scans, identifies and distinguishes between various targets, alerting the operator to people or vehicles and whether or not they are mobile or stationary.

The Golden Eagle is suitable for a range of missions, including maritime and tactical urban ones.