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Italy's Oto Melara, working with the Celin Avio company, has developed an electrically-powered rotary-wing vertical takeoff and landing UAV which the company claims is virtually silent and has a neglectable infrared signature because of the lack of a combustion engine or high-temperature exhausts or fumes.


The UAV is called the E-TRP 5 Ibis which has a maximum weight of 10 kg, a maximum payload weight of 3 kg, and a maximum speed of 100 km/h, Oto Melara says.




The E-TRP 5 Ibis standing on the takeoff and landing platform on top of a Praetor unmanned ground vehicle. Photo: Joris Janssen Lok


Endurance would be between one-two hours, depending on the payload and how much time is spent hovering.


The Ibis features a main rotor with a diameter of 1.5 meters.


Interestingly, the launch and recovery platform for Ibis can also be unmanned, for which Oto melara proposes its Praetor-class of unmanned ground vehicles. According to the Italian company, this combination extends the operational capabilities of the UAV as its batteries can be automatically recharged through the landing skids while the rotorcraft is parked on top of the vehicle.


A slightly larger rotorcraft, the Helistark, is propelled by an internal combsution egine and offers an endurance of six hours.


Oto Melara is also working on a tactical UAV that can be fired from a 120-mm. tank gun to provide imagery over a target area.



da AW&ST, dovrebbe essere lo stesso che è apparso su RID, Ago 2008

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