Aeronautics Defense Orbiter
|A Serbian Orbiter UAV|
|Manufacturer||Aeronautics Defense Systems|
The Orbiter Mini UAV System Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is a compact and lightweight system designed for use in Military and Homeland Security missions. It has been used with great effect in the Middle East since it was first developed. The system is used for 'Over The Hill' reconnaissance missions, Low Intensity Conflicts and Urban warfare operations as well as any close range ISTAR mission. It is manufactured by the Israeli company Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd.
According to news reports, an Orbiter Mini UAV, operated by the Mexican Federal Government, likely the Federal Police, malfunctioned on December 17, 2010. During a surveillance operation, it crossed the border into US airspace and crashed in El Paso, Texas. No property was damaged, as the UAV apparently deployed a parachute during its descent. It was reported to and retrieved by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Aeronautics announced in May 2015 the Orbiter 1K "Kingfisher" version with a fuselage adapted to carry a 2 kg (4.4 lb) explosive payload, turning it into a loitering munition. It can be controlled by an operator, or is capable of being given a waypoint and independently scanning the area to detect and destroy a stationary or moving target. If a target is not detected, the Orbiter 1K can return to base and land for reuse. The Oribter 1K can fly for 2–3 hours carrying an electro-optical/infrared sensor with a unique warhead that, due to its low acoustic signature, “is not detected until two seconds before it starts its kill dive”. Aeronautics announced the armed loitering UAV achieved operational status in August 2016.
- Azerbaijan - Azerbaijani Land Forces - has a local plant for manufacturing
- Finland - Finnish Army
- Ireland - Irish Army
- Israel - Israeli Sea Corps
- Mexico - Mexican Federal Police PEMEX
- Peru - Peruvian Army
- Poland - Polish Land Forces and Polish Special Forces - 11
- Serbia - Serbian Army
- South Africa - South African National Defence Force
- United States - undergoing testing
- United Kingdom - 3 on order
- Thailand - Royal Thai Air Force
- Aeronautics' new Orbiter 1K Kingfisher MUAS to be unveiled at Paris Air Show 2015 - Airrecognition.com, 28 May 2015
- Loitering Orbiter 1K on target for first delivery - Flightglobal.com, 2 August 2016
- Desk, iHLS News (15 October 2014). "Orbiter 3 to be manufactured in Azerbaijan - iHLS Israel Homeland Security". iHLS Israel Homeland Security. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
- Lavery, Don (1 August 2008). "Defence Forces to use Israeli robot spy planes". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-09-04.