BlueBird Aero Systems, which is 50% owned by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has completed delivery of 100 WanderB-VTOL UAVs to a European customer. The vertical takeoff and landing UAVs are part of a transaction involving over 150 WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL UAVs worth tens of millions of U.S. dollars. The largest-ever delivery of VTOL UAVs to any customer at one time was completed within the agreed timetable despite COVID-19 conditions, IAI and BlueBird said.
The transaction reflects the increasing usage worldwide of VTOL UAVs, which provide important benefits for land and maritime applications as they combine the advantages of a fixed wing UAV (long range, long endurance, high speed, wind independency, large area coverage, etc.) with the advantages of a multi-copter (ability to take off and land in confined areas, as well as to land accurately and safely without damage, etc.). IAI’s 50% acquisition of BlueBird Aero Systems, which was recently approved by Israel's government, is tapping into the potential of this emerging trend. Over the past few years, BlueBird developed several advanced VTOL platforms. The asset and capability combination of IAI and BlueBird is expected to yield additional breakthrough operational solutions on the market, according to the companies.
Moshe Levy, IAI EVP and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Division and incoming Chairman of the Board at BlueBird, said "I am excited to celebrate this important milestone. BlueBird is delivering a product providing a unique solution to the customer’s operational challenges. I am confident BlueBird with IAI's collaboration will yield future transactions and lead to the development of more sophisticated tactical VTOL UAV systems."
BlueBird’s founder and CEO, Ronen Nadir, said "BlueBird’s VTOL systems provide vital intelligence and situational awareness in real-time to the end-user's infantry, armored units, artillery corps and special forces, serving as their 'eye in the sky," effectively handling the challenges of the modern battlefield."
"The systems have been tested in extreme environmental conditions and comply with the end user's operational needs, providing them with significate operational advantages. Once again, our leadership in cutting edge VTOL solutions, is setting the stage for next generation tactical UAVs," he said.