Aeronautics executives facing export control violation charges

31 August 2018

Israeli unmanned systems manufacturer Aeronautics announced on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on 29 August that key personnel from the company had been summoned to the State Attorney’s Office for a hearing on potential export control violations related to the company’s Orbiter 1K loitering munition.

The disclosure noted that the company’s marketing and export licence for the system to a “material customer” had been suspended since September 2017.

Aeronautics personnel have been summoned by Israeli prosecutors over its Orbiter 1K loitering munition. (Aeronautics)Aeronautics personnel have been summoned by Israeli prosecutors over its Orbiter 1K loitering munition. (Aeronautics)

The company stated in its release that it believed there was no basis for criminal proceedings against the firm or its employees.

The Orbiter 1K is a loitering munition version of the Orbiter 2 ISR platform that features a nose-mounted warhead and electro-optic/infrared imaging assembly. The system is recoverable and incorporates a video tracker, automatic flight control guidance, and a medium range radio frequency (RF) configuration for analog and digital communication. The system’s payload is understood to be a 1-2 kg explosive, with the system’s airframe sharing common characteristics with the Orbiter 1 and Orbiter 2 systems.

Aeronautics has a substantial international footprint, with the company enjoying considerable success in Azerbaijan – where it has a joint venture for UAV assembly with local industry – as well as countries such as Mexico, Peru, Poland, and Thailand. The company has also been working to expand its presence in Eastern Europe, signing collaboration agreements with Romanian industry earlier this year on possible opportunities in the market.

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