from the October 2017 issue

IAI demonstrates Air Hopper unmanned helicopter

Israel Aerospace Industries VP Shaul Shahar: This will open many doors for us in local and global markets, military and civilian alike.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has announced that its unmanned systems division has successfully completed a proof of concept of its Air Hopper unmanned helicopter to senior defense officials and the IDF. The Air Hopper took a part in a demonstration that covered two scenarios. One simulated the evacuation of a seriously-wounded soldier, including airborne monitoring of vital. The second scenario simulated carrying logistic supplies to an isolated force in the front line.

The Air Hopper is based on a small, manned helicopter with a payload of 100-180 kg (depending on the model), flight time of two hours and speed of up to 120 km/h. Itis powered by an internal combustion engine that uses ordinary, 95-octane fuel. Its price is considerably lower than that of a manned transport helicopter. "This allows procurement of multiple unmanned helicopters to achieve flexible deployment and low-cost provisioning to the front lines while significantly mitigating the risk to human life," IAI says.

According to IAI, the system's open architecture makes it compatible with a range of platforms with no need for special adaptations. The Air Hopper can operate by day or night, and in any weather.

IAI Military Aircraft Group corporate VP and general manager Shaul Shahar said, "The proof of concept step is an important milestone for IAI in the world of unmanned vehicles, developing the future battlefield and in offering optimal unmanned operational solutions that minimize the risk to human lives as much as possible. I believe these developments will open many doors for us in local and global markets, military and civilian alike."

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report October 2017

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