Zephyr UAV To Spy On ISIS For 90 Days Straight

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Airbus, creator of the Zephyr UAV, are aiming to upgrade the drone so that it will eventually stay airborne for 90 days. This upgrade is not just for breaking a record, but will have a real impact in today’s hectic world: It has been described as a potential “game changer” in the battle against extremists in Iraq and Syria.

British Airbus claims it “endures like a satellite, focuses like an aircraft and is cheaper than both of them”.

A model was on show at the Defence and Security Equipment International show at ExCel in London and members of the Royal Corps of Signals have put it through its paces.

One Army source said: “Currently, a C130 Hercules does some of the jobs that need doing. Others – like communications – may even need a satellite. Employing a satellite costs a huge amount and takes time to put into place.”

The current model has a wingspan of 28 meters and is covered in solar panels. At night, stored energy powers its propellers.

The larger 90-day drone is due in 2017 but orders are on hold while the Government reviews defence spending.

A spokesman for the British MoD said: “An MoD funded research programme was recently completed with Airbus to demonstrate the technology underpinning the Zephyr programme but no decisions have yet been made on which solution, or combination of solutions, the MoD may develop to meet its requirements.

“Discussions are ongoing with a number of companies to understand the options that may be available.”

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