The Panther’s VTOL capabilities give it the ability to takeoff and land on an unprepared area, while an automatic flight control system controls the transitions between the hovering takeoff phase to forward flight and vice versa before landing. IAI says this system eliminates the need for an external pilot and allows the craft to take off and land automatically with the click of a button on the operator console.
Itzhak Nissan, President and CEO of IAI, said: "The Panther's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, along with its effective use of changing flight dynamics, make it a unique and invaluable asset on the tactical battlefield for the Israel Defense Forces and for foreign customers. We consider the innovative technology used in this system to be ground-breaking."The Panther, which weighs roughly 65 kg (143 lb), is powered by three ultra-quiet electrical motors that allow the craft to loiter for approximately six hours, at an altitude of up to 10,000 feet, with an operational radius of over 60 km (37 miles). The UAV carries IAI’s Mini-POP (Plug-in Optronic Payload), which consists of a day/night stabilized camera with a laser range finder, pointer or laser designator. Meanwhile, the smaller Mini Panther, which weighs up to 12 kg (26 lb), can loiter for approximately two hours and carries IAI’s Micro-POP.
The Panther control station can store up to three aircraft and can be transported on a midsize vehicle. It also includes the ground data link, the support equipment and spare parts, with two fully redundant identical consoles that are used to control the UAV’s mission. The portable Mini Panther system includes two aircraft and a command and control unit and is small enough to be carried in the backpacks of two soldiers. (GizMag)
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