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Israeli unmanned aerial systems (UAS) specialist Aeronautics Group is to supply dozens of its Orbiter 3 UASs to the Greek Ministry of National Defence, the company announced on 17 April 2023.

The deal is part of a larger contract between the Israeli and Greek defence ministries, worth approximately EUR 370 M, for the procurement of Spike missiles made by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

“As part of the contract, Rafael will provide an advanced solution enabling significant operational advantage to the modern battlefield; while the Orbiter 3 systems detect, recognise and identify the target, the Spike missiles, launched from the air, sea, or land, can rapidly close the sensor-to-shooter loop, using the ‘Fire Weaver C4I system,” Aeronautics explained in a press release. “The rapid sensor-to-shooter process implementing advanced technologies enables   mission success.”

The Orbiter 3 UAV has a payload capacity of up to 5.5 kg and an endurance of up to six hours. (Photo: Aeronautics Group)

The Orbiter 3 UAS uses a small, tactical, electrically powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a wingspan of 4.4 m, a maximum take-off weight of 32 kg, a maximum speed of 70 kts (130 km/h), a communications range of up to 50 km and an endurance of up to six hours. It can carry payloads weighing up to 5.5 kg that can include an electro-optics/cooled infrared sensor with laser target designator/rangefinder, a wide area motion imagery sensor, or communications intelligence or electronic intelligence payloads, but it also features a built-in capability to accept future user-defined payloads.

According to Aeronautics, key features of the Orbiter 3 UAS are that it is combat proven, runway independent, offers superior ISTAR performance and operational flexibility in challenging weather conditions, and has a compact logistics footprint.

Dan Slasky, CEO of Aeronautics Group, was quoted by the company as saying, “We are proud to be a part of this significant cooperation with Rafael in the government-to-government agreement with the Greek Ministry of Defense. This collaboration demonstrates the technological synergy and the close business integration between the two companies. We also thank the Israeli Ministry of Defense, which has invested significant efforts to facilitate the agreement, and to the Greek Ministry of Defense for expressing its confidence in the Aeronautics solution.”

Peter Felstead