VTOL UAV could aid fight against pirates


Senior Member
Oct 5, 2009
VTOL UAV could aid fight against pirates

Israeli unmanned air systems maker Innocon has unveiled a fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing concept designed for shipboard operations, to help protect shipping from pirates.

Powered by a four-stroke engine, the 1.5m (4.9ft)-long unmanned air vehicle has a 1m wingspan and a maximum take-off weight of 30kg (66lb). Endurance is 4h.

Innocon chief executive Michael Armon says the UAV, which is undergoing flight-testing and is expected to achieve full capability within months, will be capable of carrying a 5kg payload, probably the day/night optical T-Stamp unit made by Controp in Israel. "This payload and others of this category allow excellent video tracking of targets in day and night conditions," Armon says.

The aircraft will be equipped with Innocon's Naviator flight management system, enabling fully autonomous operation from take-off until landing. "The system will be operated by a simple laptop from the ship's bridge," says Armon. The system price is expected to be about $300,000.

"Our idea is to put some of these special UAV systems on cargo ships so that they can give an early warning about a planned pirate attack," he says.

The as-yet unnamed system is based on a 10-year-old design by a US inventor who is a partner in the programme, says Armon.


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