Israel Aerospace Industries’ Malat Division is developing several unmanned helicopters for tactical use.
One of them, the Ghost helicopter, was shown to Defense Minister Ehud Barak during his recent visit to IAI.
Ghost is made from composite materials and propelled by two battery-powered motors. Its designated payload is mounted on its underbelly. The drone is capable of hovering toward or over a target and transmitting photos and other data on activity “over the hill”. Among its many uses, Ghost is designed to patrol an area before troops commence regular security operations and convey pictures of mines and other obstacles planted on or next to access routes. It is currently undergoing initial testing.
Another helicopter – ETOP – was developed for similar purposes by Malat. This drone is propelled by four electric engines powered by fixed batteries on a stationary operating platform or by a moving vehicle when ETOP hovers above it.
American military forces in Afghanistan employ this kind of hovering UAV to transmit ground photos before forces travel on dangerous routes.