BlueBird Aero Systems has won a contract to supply a target variant of an unmanned air vehicle to the Israeli Air Force (IAF), to enable it to train its air defense units.
The IAF selected BlueBird’s ThunderB after it completed a series of test flights in which it reached a speed of 150 kilometers per hour and a ceiling of 15,000 feet.
The target version of the ThunderB will carry a simple optical payload.
The ThunderB is a small-sized tactical UAV (28 kilograms, 4-meter wingspan), with intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities previously found only in much larger UAVs, usually with weight of above 200 kilograms. It is suitable for ISTAR because of its long endurance capability (6–24 hours), its extended control range and its cooled/uncooled infrared and optional laser pointer payload.