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TEL AVIV-- Israel plans to develop a strategic unmanned aerial vehicle meant to compete with the U.S.-origin Global Hawk.
The state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries has been developing the HALE-class UAV as a long-range strategic platform. IAI hopes to present the UAV as a low-cost alternative to the Global Hawk.
"We plan to offer HALE at a significantly lower cost than the Global Hawk," Shlomo Tsach, head of IAI's aviation science administration, said.
In an address on Tuesday to a conference on robotics and UAVs at Tel Aviv University , Tsach said HALE, the acronym for high-altitude and long-endurance, would be capable of long-range strategic missions .
Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) has approached EADS with a proposal to jointly develop a turbofan-powered high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned air vehicle in a similar class to Northrop Grumman's RQ-4 Global Hawk.
Sources within the Israeli company say the offer centres on the collaborative development of a new UAV design that will have a mission endurance of 24-36h and an operating ceiling of up to 60,000ft (18,300m).
"The idea is to develop a UAV with performance like the Global Hawk that will carry a much lower price tag," it says.
If confirmed, the proposed partnership on HALE UAVs could call into question EADS's burgeoning co-operation with Northrop Grumman on unmanned technologies, which has so far led to plans for the joint development of an international variant of the RQ-4, dubbed the Euro Hawk.
EADS says it has no "concrete" plans to expand its current co-operation with IAI, and that it will look at the progress of its Eagle partnership before considering any new project. However, a source within the company notes: "We wouldn't do anything to hurt our relationship with Northrop Grumman."
The G600 would have benefits over a UAV as its pilots can manoeuvre the aircraft over points of interest quicker than retasking the UAV via datalink, he adds.
“The Global Hawk is just dumb; it takes photos. It’s a very American way of using resources and is very expensive in terms of bandwidth to stream those photos back, so maybe it’s better to have crew selecting preliminary data.”
The G600 could cost 90% less than Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle.
The company has almost completed airframe design and would launch full-scale prototyping having secured one launch customer. Grob estimates a period of 13 months from project launch to first flight, with a further 11 months needed to secure full certification, making it an interim measure for countries involved in European UAV concepts, says Strohmayer.
The G600 has a wingspan of 35.6m (116ft), a payload capacity of 1,200kg (2,650lb) and a projected 33h endurance. The aircraft would use the G180’s current Williams FJ44-4A turbofans to reach an altitude of 65,000ft and have a useful range of around 10,000km (5,540nm).
Grob is looking for partners on the project and is talking to system suppliers in “traditional high-technology countries” in the Middle East for on-board equipment, it says.
Originally posted by NWguy83
As long as the money to fund it isn't coming from the $3 Billion we give their military every year, I am fine with it.