By Arie Egozi
Tel Aviv. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is stepping up the development of new VTOL UAV’s after acquiring 50% stake in BlueBird Aero Systems. BlueBird has recently completed the delivery of 100 WanderB-VTOL UAVs to a European customer.
The Vertical take-off and Landing (VTOL) UAVs are part of a transaction involving over 150 WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL UAVs worth tens of millions of US Dollars ($). This is the world’s largest number of VTOL UAVs delivered to any customer at one time, and was completed within the agreed time table despite COVID-19 conditions.
The transaction reflects a globally emerging trend of VTOL UAVs, which provide important benefits for land and maritime applications as they combine the advantages of a fixed wing UAV (long range, long endurance, high speed, wind independency, large area coverage, etc.) with the advantages of a multi-copter (ability to take off and land in confined areas, accurate, safe and damage-free landing, etc).
IAI’s 50% acquisition of BlueBird Aero Systems, which was recently approved by Israel’s government, is tapping into the potential of this emerging trend. Over the past few years, BlueBird has developed several advanced VTOL platforms. The asset and capability combination of IAI and BlueBird is expected to yield additional breakthrough operational solutions on the market.
-The writer is an International Roving Correspondent of the publication. Views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Raksha Anirveda