PICTURE: First glimpse of Israel's Impact UAV | World Defense

PICTURE: First glimpse of Israel's Impact UAV

BLACKEAGLE

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PICTURE: First glimpse of Israel's Impact UAV
  • 01 February, 2016
  • BY: Arie Egozi
  • Tel Aviv
Flightglobal has obtained first details and an image of the Impact unmanned air vehicle being developed by new Israeli company Meteor Aerospace.

Formed in central Israel in 2013, the privately-owned company has operated so far with minimal public exposure, avoiding trade shows and limiting its announcements. “We’re still flying under the radar,” says one Meteor Aerospace executive.



Meteor Aerospace

Meteor Aerospace is the initiative of co-founder and chief executive Itzhak Nissan, who for many years worked at the nation's largest UAV manufacturer, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Nearly three years ago, he stepped down as chief executive of the company, which had a backlog of $10 billion. He then co-founded the new venture with Israeli businessman Hezi Bezalel.

“Coming to the defence market with a new company makes sense only if you bring new and innovative products. You can’t claim your place among the well-established industry giants if you offer more of the same,” says Nissan.

Despite its low profile, Flightglobal has learned details of Meteor's first UAV. Named Impact, the medium-altitude, long-endurance design can carry a 150kg (330lb) payload. Powered by a 100hp fuel-injection engine, the aircraft has a flight endurance in excess of 24h.

Nissan refuses to release further details, but says the company has already secured orders for the Impact and other systems valued at $100 million, plus options worth another $150 million. Negotiations with other potential customers continue.

Meteor is also developing two other UAVs, he reveals. "One will be bigger than the Impact, and the other one smaller." Additional activities include developing unmanned ground vehicles, unmanned maritime vessels and precision strike weapon systems.

Israel's MALE UAV market is highly competitive, with Meteor facing established rivals including the Elbit Systems Hermes 900 and IAI's Heron series. Other industry sources note the Impact platform will need to offer additional features if it is to compete with these competitors.
PICTURE: First glimpse of Israel's Impact UAV
 

UnslaadKrosis

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Okay, I have to admit, that plane looks like it has been pulled out from a Hollywood sci-fi flick. And if what the specs they've provided turn out to be true, then the Impact will be a damn fine machine.
 

Susimi

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It almost looks like an RC plane come to life, or something like a microlight. It also does not look like it can even carry a payload and if it goes up with a payload I wonder how much the extra weight will impact on it's endurance?
 

explorerx7

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Knowing the Israelis, anything the produce will be of high quality. Therefore, I believe we should expect an excellent performance from this machine. One concern, however, is the 330lb payload, which would seem a bit over the top for such a small machine.
 

ipm_zipedia

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Reminds me of a condensed version of the Global Hawk model which all drones pretty much look similar to. Let's hope that it can carry some actual stealth abilities instead of the low-flying nature of the Predator.
 

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