Israel Unveils Orbiter 2 LM Suicide Drone

image provided by Aeronautics

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Israel-based Aeronautics Group, known for its tactical drones, reveals its latest addition to the Orbiter family of UAVs – a one-way loitering munition called Orbiter 2 LM that is designed to enhance battlefield situational awareness and precision strike capabilities for ground forces.

Aeronautics reportedly intends to integrate it with Orbiter 2 STS (“Sensor-to-Shooter”), which is a system that pairs the loitering munition with nearby surveillance drones for pre-strike battlefield surveillance and post-strike damage assessment.

Vice-President of Marketing and Business Development at Aeronautics Group Eyal Assenhaym spoke to Breaking Defense, claiming that recent conflicts have shown a rise of the importance of maneuvering forces, marking a shift from using drones primarily in counter-terrorism operations to integrating them with regular infantry battalions, where soldiers may not have access to larger, more sophisticated surveillance UAVs. “This creates a critical need for organic intelligence capabilities for the ground forces. The forces need to be organic, meaning they can operate it by themselves for their needs in a time critical operation,” said Assenhaym.

According to Interesting Engineering, the company now proposes a combined system in which one could buy an ISR Orbiter 2 with some Orbiter 2LMs since both have the same platform communication, ground control, and human-machine interface. The Orbiter 2 drone is launched from a catapult, weighs approximately 12 kg, and boasts a 2.7-meter wingspan. It can remain airborne for two hours, operates quietly due to its electric power source, and provides a low detection probability with minimal acoustic, optic, and radar signatures.

The drone has the ability to perform pinpoint precision attacks for minimal collateral damage, and has anti-jamming capabilities and encrypted communications. The system uses AI to enhance functions like target recognition, improving over time to identify unique targets more effectively.

The streamlined approach of the Orbiter 2 LM eliminates the need for multiple launch methods and efficiently closes the sensor-to-shooter loop, providing real-time bomb damage assessment as it monitors the attack results and enables successive strikes.