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Panther is the latest product from the classified projects operation at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).The version flying right now has two tilt-rotor, electric motors powered by fuel cells that are designed for low-noise operations. One operational scenario is to fly the UAV to a surveillance site in enemy territory, land and quietly monitor activity with a day-night camera and then quietly leave.Panther was built and flown by IAI’s Malat division as one of several classified unmanned aerial systems (UAS) under development to fill various operational holes between Israel’s largest (so far) Heron TP and it’s tiny Mosquito designs.The Panther has a scaleable wingspan of 2-8 meters, an 18-lb. payload, operational altitude of 10,000 ft. and endurance of six hr. The top speed is 70 knots and it has a 60 km. range. It also could be operated from ships that require tactical UAS, but official admits that automated landing on a moving ship is a challenging job.“In between [Heron TP and Mosquito] we have something very new -- a vertical takeoff and landing [design that] can operate from grass, ice or desert,” says Tommy Silberring, general manager of Malat’s military aircraft group. “The idea is to takeoff and land without a parachute or crash cushion.”The principal feature of the aircraft is tilt-rotor motors that allow point takeoffs and landings or, if desired, conventional landing and takeoff operations. It has pinpoint, automatic takeoff and landing capabilities, automatic navigation to the targets of interest and day/night cameras.Click here to read Dave's Aerospace Daily & Defense Report article on Panther.
ar99, unmanned, UAS, Israel, tilt-rotor
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