Bird-Eye 650D Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (STUAS), Israel


Bird-Eye 650D

Bird-Eye 650D, a small tactical unmanned aerial system (UAS) designed and developed by MALAT Division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), entered serial production in June 2016.

The UAS is intended for a variety of military and paramilitary missions such as over-the-hill intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR), patrol, urban operation, counter-terrorism, convoy escort, radio relay, and law enforcement.

Its civilian applications include surveillance of disaster areas, water resource management, mapping, and powerline inspections.

Bird-Eye 650D is the latest member of the Bird-Eye family of UAS', which also includes Bird-Eye 400 and Bird-Eye 650. The 650D offers better mission endurance compared to the Bird-Eye 650.

Bird Eye 650D design and features

The Bird-Eye 650D mini-UAS comprises three unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms, a ground control system and payloads, and is operated by three people.

The UAV features a flying wing design with a wing span of 4m. It is launched by a lightweight catapult launch system installed on a ground vehicle.

A fail-safe recovery system, comprising parachute and airbag, ensures safe landing of the UAV. When recovered, the drone flips over and lands on its back with the help of a parachute.

It has the ability to perform autonomous operations from take-off to landing using an automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) system. It also boasts point take-off and point recovery capabilities.

Payloads aboard Bird-Eye 650D UAV

With a maximum payload weight of 5.5kg, the Bird-Eye 650D tactical UAV can be configured with multiple sensor systems including MiniPOP and MicroPOP electro-optical stabilised payloads, T-STAMP camera, and other electronic payloads.

Developed by IAI's Tamam division, the MiniPOP dual-axis, gyro-stabilised payload houses multiple sensors such as day continuous zoom colour camera, thermal camera, laser pointer, laser rangefinder, and an automatic video tracker.

The MicroPOP observation system can carry either a day continuous zoom colour camera or a night continuous zoom thermal imaging camera and offers enhanced imaging capabilities.

Controp's T-STAMP, triple-sensor, stabilised, miniature electro-optical payload provides tactical over-the-hill intelligence and reconnaissance under all lighting conditions.

The UAV is additionally fitted with passive RWR / RWL electronic countermeasures (ECM) and communications jamming (COMJAM) for precision electronic warfare operations.

Tactical ground control system

The tactical air system's ground control unit consists of a monitor, remote video terminal and ground control equipment. It receives and processes the real-time imagery, videos, telemetry and other data captured by the UAV sensors.

"The UAS is intended for a variety of military and paramilitary missions such as over-the-hill intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR), patrol, urban operation, counter-terrorism, convoy escort, radio relay, and law enforcement."

A direct line-of-sight (LOS) data link provides secure communication between the UAV and the ground control system.

Bird-Eye 650D propulsion

The UAV is powered by a single engine that runs on petrol fuel. The engine drives a two-blade propeller mounted at the forward portion.

Bird-Eye 650D small UAV performance

The Bird-Eye 650D small unmanned aerial vehicle has a cruising speed of 40kt and a maximum speed of 80kt. It can operate 15,000ft high and reach up to a range of 150km. Its gross take-off weight is 30kg and flight endurance is more than 15 hours.

The drone has low visual and acoustic signatures and offers flexible operation at long ranges.


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