IAI Malat: from fixed- to rotary-wings?

Paolo Valpolini

Israel Aerospace Industries’ Malat Division is the group unit specialised in developing and manufacturing UAS, the latter launched being the T-Heron, “T” staying for tactical, which was unveiled at the Paris Air Show. The smallest of the Heron family, for the full report please click here, it was obviously intensively marketed also at the London exhibition.

Talking to Malat representatives, EDR On-Line learned about the future developments that the Israeli company should unveil in the near future. Until now all Malat systems were based on fixed wing aircraft, with the exception of the Hovermast 100 which is however a tethered system, however the tide might change, as apparently the next unmanned flying product will be a rotary wing system.

According to the company the first such system will have a maximum take-off weight of 150 kg with a 30 kg payload, the aircraft architecture being that of conventional helicopters, EDR On-Line understood; IAI aims at having the prototype ready by early 2020. “It will first be a land-based system, then we will develop it to operate from naval platforms,” the IAI source told us.

This will however be only the first stage, the next step bringing to a 600 kg MTOW aircraft, which will be the main investment in this field in the coming years. A multi-payload machine capable to carry synthetic aperture radars, electro-optic systems, electronic warfare suites, etc. the heavy rotordrone will be able to provide its data to the MOIC (Mission Operation and Intelligence Centre) interacting with operators, interpreters and aviation control personnel working in the centre. Considering the different possible uses of that flying platform different propulsion systems are being considered and will be offered, including electric motors. Compared to the lighter rotorcraft UAS this one will work at higher tactical level, while both will be fitted with subsystems already developed by IAI such as i.e. automatic take-off and landing modules. Next year we should expect a new system unveiled by IAI Malat Division, opening the way to future bigger rotary wing systems that will add further flexibility to the company portfolio.

Pictorial courtesy IAI