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IDEX 2023: Steadicopter, Bird Aerosystems add maritime patrol radar to Black Eagle 50H UAS

Steadicopter Black Eagle 50 Hybrid version UAV with Bird Aerosystems' µMPR. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

Steadicopter and Bird Aerosystems have integrated the latter's Micro Maritime Patrol Radar (µMPR) on the Black Eagle 50H rotary-wing unmanned aircraft system (UAS), and displayed the new configuration at IDEX 2023, held in Abu Dhabi from 20 to 24 February.

Steadicopter unveiled a hybrid version of its Black Eagle 50 UAS – the Black Eagle 50H – in February 2022, and the company has been working to improve the aircraft's maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The µMPR enables the system to conduct long-range ISR operations.

Further improvements introduced to the Black Eagle 50H include the ability to integrate an automatic identification system (AIS) and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors from Controp. In addition, the operating range has been extended to 200 km.

Itai Toren, Steadicopter's chief executive officer, told Janes that “advanced capabilities for long endurance of up to five hours, together with Bird Aerosystems' µMPR capabilities for the detection and tracking of maritime vessels, enable the Black Eagle 50H to carry out accurate mapping of all vessels within a radius of 200 km within a few hours, in harsh environmental conditions, day or night”.

Powered by an internal combustion engine and electric motor with generator, thd aircraft carries mission payloads that initially included EO/IR sensors and digital cameras. These sensors limit operational capability in low light, rainy, cloudy, and dull environments. µMPR provides a wide-area persistent surveillance and coverage for long periods.

Tal Haloutz, vice-president of Special Mission Solutions at Bird Aerosystems, told Janes

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