|IAI Panther on display at Singapore Airshow 2012.|
|Role||Unmanned aerial vehicle|
|Manufacturer||Israel Aerospace Industries|
The Panther employs a tilt-rotor propulsion system patented by IAI and designed for tactical use, allowing runway-free takeoffs and landings on unprepared locations. It features three "ultra-quiet" electric motors, two of which are tilt-rotor and one providing additional lift for hovering, takeoff and landing. An automatic flight-control system controls the transition between the rotors' various positions.
Weighing roughly 65 kilograms (143 lb) the Panther has an operational radius of over 60 kilometres (37 mi) and can loiter for approximately six hours at an altitude of 10,000 feet (3,000 m). Its payload is IAI's Mini-POP electro-optical/infrared sensor, a stabilised camera with a laser rangefinder, pointer or laser designator.
The Panther is controlled from a two-man control station, one to control the aircraft and oversee tactical missions, and the other to act as the station manager. The two use identical consoles, while takeoff and landings are handled automatically.
A smaller version of the Panther, the Mini-Panther, is also available. Weighing 12 kg and capable of loitering for about two hours, it is controlled from a command and control center carried in backpacks by two operators.
Prototypes of the Panther have carried out successful flight tests and it is expected to be operational in 2011.[dated info] The Panther was unveiled on October 5, 2010, at the Israeli land forces conference at Latrun and will be on display at the Association of the US Army’s (AUSA) 2010 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington DC. IAI revealed that the Panther is being evaluated by foreign special forces.
- Eshel, Tamir (October 4, 2010). "IAI Introduces: Panther UAV – Electrically Powered Tilt-Rotor VT-UAV". Defense Update. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
- Egozi, Arie (October 4, 2010). "IAI reports special forces interest in Panther tiltrotor UAV family". Flight International. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
- "Israel Aerospace Industries unveils Panther UAV". www.theengineer.co.uk. October 5, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
- Etengoff, Aharon (October 4, 2010). ".IAI deploys next-gen VTOL UAV". TGDaily. Retrieved October 5, 2010.