Eurosatory 2014

Unmanned panache from Italy (ES14E5)

20 June 2014

Italian company IDS Ingegneria Dei Sistemi specialises in hightech solutions in selected defence and civilian sectors. One of the company’s business areas is in the unmanned segment, and a range of IDS unmanned products is on display at Eurosatory (Hall 6, Stands D500-530).

Lightest of the UAVs is the IA-3 Colibri. Available in quad-rotor or octo-rotor configurations, both represented in the company’s display, the Colibri is waterproof and can land on water. Its gimballed sensor can be rotated downwards to look under the surface, if required. The four-rotor version can lift 0.5kg for 40 minutes, while the version with eight electric motors can lift 1kg for 30 minutes.

A larger vertical takeoff UAV is the IA-12 Stark. This can be powered by an electric or gasoline engine, and in the latter form offers a two-hour endurance with 3.5kg payload. The strut undercarriage is retractable, improving performance and clearing the field of view for the nose-mounted sensor. Both Stark and Colibri have been supplied to the Italian coast guard, while Colibri is in use with special forces.

For short-range tactical surveillance, IDS has produced the IA-17 Manta (pictured), of flying-wing design. The vehicle can be fitted with extended wings to raise endurance from four to eight hours on the power of a two-stroke gasoline engine. A 2kW electric motor is an option, giving 150 minutes of silent operation when fitted to the extended-wing version. At the upper end of the range is the SD-150 Hero, a 150kg rotary-wing UAV that has been developed by Sistemi Dinamici, a joint venture between IDS and AgustaWestland.

IDS has also devised ground control stations, from small handheld tablets, through ruggedised laptops, to vehicle-integrated systems. The company has also developed two unmanned ground vehicles, including the Argo UGV powered by six electric motors, which can carry 160kg.

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