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Paris Air Show 2023: Aeronautics unveils Orbiter 5 UAV

The Orbiter 5 UAV was displayed fitted with Bird Aerosystems Micro Maritime Patrol Radar (MPR) and a Controp EO/IR payload. (Janes/Olivia Savage)

Aeronautics launched its Orbiter 5 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the Paris Air Show 2023.

Dan Slasky, CEO of Aeronautics, told Janes and other media representatives that the Orbiter 5 has been developed to provide medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV capabilities in a tactical system, and is intended for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.

Setting up the UAV requires just one Allen key, and it is launched from a vehicle-mounted catapult system. The aircraft features an 11 hp engine from Aeronautics subsidiary Zanzottera Technologies, which produces up to 600 W and enables high-performance systems such as radars to be integrated on the platform. The UAV has a payload capacity of 25 kg, a maximum flight endurance of more than 25 hours, and an operating ceiling of 18,000 ft, Slasky said.

Flying for 25 hours or more is only possible when equipped with a maximum payload of 10 kg, he added.

The company has already received two significant orders for the Orbiter 5 and is in the process of delivering the aircraft, Slasky said. He was unable to comment on whether the system would be equipped with munitions, although he did note that a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability is in the design road map for the aircraft.

Demonstrations of the UAV are planned at the end of this year and early 2024.

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