Israeli unmanned aerial system (UAS) manufacturer Aeronautics is launching a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Orbiter 5, which the company claims enables medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV mission capabilities in a tactical UAV, the company announced on 14 June 2023. The system, which is being unveiled at the Paris Air Show between 19 and 25 June, is focused on the global defence and homeland security markets and is professed by Aeronautics to present “a new paradigm in UAS system performance”.
The Orbiter 5 has an endurance of more than 25 hours, with multi-mission capabilities enabled by its capacity to carry two payloads simultaneously amounting to more than 25 kg, and features advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, according to Aeronautics. In addition, the platform has a dual avionic system and a dual-ignition engine to ensure a high degree of safety and mission success.
The Orbiter 5’s four-stroke engine supplies up to 600 W of electrical power for the onboard mission systems, enabling the use of complex payloads for varied ISTAR applications. According to a specification sheet provided to ESD ahead of the Paris Air Show, the Orbiter 5 has a wingspan of 6.4 m and a length of 2 m, making it the largest UAV in the Orbiter range. As well as an electro-optical/infrared-red sensor with laser pointer/rangefinder/designator, the potential payloads for the Orbiter 5 include those related to electronic warfare, electronic intelligence, communications intelligence.
In addition, “with an advanced miniature radar, the Orbiter 5 is also the ultimate solution for maritime missions,” Aeronautics stated in its press release.
The Orbiter 5 has been designed to facilitate short mission preparation times with rapid and simple assembly in the field using only one tool, enabling multiple platforms to be launched in a matter of minutes “for vast area surveillance and terrain dominance”, Aeronautics stated.
The company added that the system is operable in harsh weather conditions and features an advanced navigation system that is fully operational in GPS-denied areas.
“A highly transportable vehicle-mounted system enables the Orbiter 5 to operate from anywhere without the need for fixed structures such as runways, giving the Orbiter 5 system higher survivability than MALE platforms,” Aeronautics asserted. “The system features autonomous flight and recovery modes and has a small logistic footprint. Its low lifecycle cost compared to other solutions for relevant operational requirements makes the Orbiter 5 extremely cost-effective.”
“The result of years of innovative technological and system development at the Aeronautics Group and in response to customer needs, Orbiter 5 offers the mission ‘sweet spot’ for current and future operational requirements,” Dan Slasky, company president and CEO, was quoted as saying in a press release. “We are proud to say that this system was designed with our customers’ needs in mind and has already logged hundreds of flight hours. We are confident that this newest member to the Aeronautics fleet will [address] current and future customer needs worldwide, together with the other members of the Orbiter family of systems.”