Colombian Aviation Industry Corporation (Corporación de la Industria Aeronáutica Colombiana: CIAC) and the Colombian Air Force plan to use their locally developed IRIS unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prototype as a sort of research system and not take it into production.
The state-owned CIAC test flew its IRIS in 2011, but the aircraft used heavy materials and UAV development is changing quickly, so it has moved on to another project: a joint effort with Airbus for a potential Atlante+ UAV, Colonel Alexander Pena, CIAC’s sub-director and interim general manager, told reporters in Bogota on 26 September.
Meanwhile, CIAC’s IRIS UAV will continue to be used as a developmental asset, Nicolas Castro Latorre, engineering department leader for CIAC’s manufacturing and special projects group, told Jane’s that same day at the air force’s Maintenance Command.
IRIS was constructed of aluminium, steel, and some composites, and has an 11 m wingspan. It has a Rotex 912 engine and has flown about 40 hours, including a recoverable crash, Castro said.
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