Manned to Unmanned – an emerging trend?


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Some Israeli manufacturers of unmanned air systems (UAS) are still evaluating the potential in converting manned air platforms to unmanned ones. Aeronautics is currently evaluating the conversion of additional manned aircraft to unmanned operation.

A source in the company said  that using a certified manned aerial platform for unmanned missions is a way to offer the market a “very reliable cost effective UAS”

In the meantime, the Israeli company is marketing its Dominator XP UAS, a manned light aircraft that was converted for unmanned flight. “This is currently one of our main products and we see a big potential market for it,” the source said.

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Unmanned systems conference 2014 – Israel

The first export contract of the Dominator XP was signed in mid 2011 shortly after the XP was cleared for export by the Israeli ministry of defense.

The Dominator XP was adapted to comply with the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) limitations.

The Dominator XP, which is based on the Diamond DA-42 twin engine aircraft, can achieve an endurance of 30 hours and is capable of carrying a 300-kg payload. Its max takeoff weight is 2000 kg. Max altitude is 30.000 feet and max speed is 190 kilometers per hour.

The Dominator is aimed at the high-end of the MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) UAS market.