Babcock partners with IAI to develop Remotely Piloted Aircraft solutions for Australia

According to a PR published by Babcock on February 13, 2023, the British firm and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd (IAI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pursue remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) solutions for law enforcement, maritime surveillance, and disaster management applications in Australia.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the Israeli ThunderB-VTOL. (Picture source: IAI)

With the signing of the MOU, Babcock and IAI are planning to undertake a series of in-country demonstrations of two of IAI’s unmanned aerial systems, the WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL this year.

As part of this demonstration they are engaging with State and Federal government law enforcement, emergency services and national security agencies to refine a range of practical operational concepts to prove the capabilities.

IAI’s VTOL unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), provide important benefits for land and maritime applications as they combine the advantages of a fixed wing UAV (long range, long endurance, high speed, wind independency, large area coverage, etc.) with the advantages of a multi-copter. The company has over 250 WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL systems in use by customers around the world.

Babcock’s Director of Aviation and Critical Services Peter Newington, said the new partnership with IAI will allow Babcock to offer ‘blended operations’ combining crewed rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft with uncrewed RPAs.

IAI Australia Managing Director, Mr Yonatan Segev said the partnership between IAI and Babcock would provide vital intelligence and situational awareness in real-time to the end-user, allowing them to effectively execute various missions while keeping the operators out of harm’s way.