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The Aerostar is a tactical medium Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), developed by Israel’s Aeronautics Defense Systems.
It is designed to operate in the modern battlefield transmitting highly reliable, high quality data in real-time. Besides, it is also suitable for civil applications. The air vehicle operates at an altitude of 18,000-ft and can remain on station for 12 hours. Aerostar entered service in 2000 and has been fielded by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), the US Navy, Angola and many other international customers worldwide.
The system integrates seamlessly with other platforms such as ground vehicles, helicopters and maritime vessels thus creating a network centric environment in support of Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. In addition to target acquisition, Aerostar is suitable for Artillery fire adjustment, targets designation and battlefield and borders control.
The air vehicle features an advanced avionics package and 490IA engine rated at 38-hp of power.
Each Aerostar system includes four air vehicles.
The Aerostar has been designed to suit both civil and military operations. The UAV can also execute artillery fire adjustment, target designation, battlefield and border control operations.
It can operate both day and night even in difficult weather conditions. Flexible control architecture and a large payload bay allow it to accommodate multiple payloads simultaneously.
It can be easily transported by ground vehicles, helicopters and maritime vessels.
The Aerostar is fitted with electro-optic (EO) and infra-red sensors. The EO sensor converts light rays into electronic signals to capture real time imagery.
The UAV is further equipped with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), signal intelligence (SIGINT) and communication intelligence (COMINT).
The Aerostar is powered by a single Zanzottera 498i two-stroke boxer engine which can produce 28kW of output power. The engine is equipped with an electronic fuel injection to correct altitude and temperature fluctuations thereby allowing it to run at maximum power for long durations.
The ground control station is also designed and manufactured by Aeronautics Defence Systems.
Processing, retrieving, storing and monitoring of the real time data are carried out at the GCS. Communications with the UAV are enabled through a line of sight data link with a range of up to 200km.
The GCS is fitted with three computers, two for the pilot and payload commander and one as a back up. A video monitor and a recorder are provided for displaying the data captured by the TUAV. A UHF radio is provided for air traffic control communications.
Finally, the Aerostar can climb at a rate of 304m/min. The maximum and cruise speeds of the UAV are 203km/h and 114km/h respectively. The stall speed is 90km/h and the range is 200km. The UAV can loiter in air for a maximum of 12 hours.
It is one of the plethora of Israeli weapons that Azerbaijan uses, especially in the war for Nagorno-Karabakh, against Armenia.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Weapons of Karabakh War: Israel’s Hermes 450 Medium-Size Multi-Payload UAV
- Azerbaijan Is In Anger. Armenians Open Fire At Its Troops Peacefully Advancing In Nagorno-Karabakh