IAI gears up for Asian Aerospace Expo

Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) began making its final preparations on Wednesday for the Asian Aerospace Expo - one of the most important international aviation exhibitions in the world set to begin next Tuesday in Singapore. IAI will conduct a unique flight demonstration of its Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) - capable of enduring 40 hours at altitudes up to 30,000 feet while under tough weather conditions. The Heron can be fitted with various sensors including maritime patrol radar systems and electronic intelligence capabilities. IAI recently signed a $50 million contract with the Israeli Air Force to supply it with several Heron systems. In addition to the Heron, IAI will also put on display its I-View tactical UAV which specializes in close-range missions and takes off from a launcher and not a runway as well as the Bird Eye mini-UAV which provides over-the-hill reconnaissance with an operational range of 6 miles. IAI recently signed a $100 million deal with the Australian Defense Forces for the supply of the I-View UAV. IAI's Lahav Division said Wednesday that it planned to unveil the innovative Guardium Unmanned Security Vehicle (USV) which specializes in autonomous fence and border protection. The Guardium, officials said, would become operational by the end of the year and would be used by the IDF for border patrols. The Guardium USV is equipped with sensors for unmanned navigation and can be outfitted with grenade launchers, machine guns and other operational means. Another new invention to be unveiled at the expo is the Twister Multi-Mission Joint Operations Control Center developed by the IAI's MagNet Center and designed to give military commanders full control of joint operation missions involving USVs, UAVs, attack helicopters and ground forces. Meanwhile Wednesday, Elta Systems Group - an IAI subsidiary - announced the signing of several contracts valued at $100 million for a range of coastal surveillance, maritime patrol and intelligence systems with two countries in Africa and three other undisclosed clients.