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June 16, 2021

IAI’s BlueBird supplies 100 WanderB-VTOL UAVs to European customer

The delivery is part of an order for more than 150 WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL UAVs.

Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) BlueBird Aero Systems has completed an order for 100 WanderB vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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WanderB VTOL UAV is a fully autonomous drone developed by BlueBird, while ThunderB is a small tactical UAV.

The systems were delivered to an undisclosed European customer under a multi-million-dollar contract covering a total of more than 150 WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL UAVs.

According to IAI, the latest milestone represents the largest number of VTOL UAVs delivered to any customer.

The order was completed within the agreed time despite ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

IAI Military Aircraft Division EVP and general manager and BlueBird incoming board chairman Moshe Levy said: “I am excited to celebrate this important milestone. BlueBird is delivering a product providing a unique solution to the customer’s operational challenges.”

For the past few years, BlueBird has been engaged in the development of several advanced VTOL platforms.

The WanderB VTOL UAV is aimed at providing intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) mission capability to defence, security and paramilitary forces.

Meanwhile, the ThunderB compact UAV is designed to offer long endurance and extended range capabilities similar to those offered by larger unmanned aircraft weighing 200kg.

BlueBird founder and CEO Ronen Nadir said: “BlueBird’s VTOL systems provide vital intelligence and situational awareness in real-time to the end user’s infantry, armoured units, artillery corps and special forces, serving as their ‘eye in the sky,’ effectively handling the challenged of the modern battlefield.

“The systems have been tested in extreme environmental conditions and comply with the end user’s operational needs, providing them with significate operational advantages. Once again, our leadership in cutting edge VTOL solutions is setting the stage for next-generation tactical UAVs.”

In September last year, IAI signed an agreement to acquire a 50% stake in BlueBird Aero Systems. The acquisition was recently approved by the Israeli Government.

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Whilst at its core a humanitarian crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine risks adding materially to existing global economic and supply challenges. We are likely heading into a period in which geopolitics will become a regular part of boardroom discussions. Recent developments have seen Russian companies make significant progress around the world to supply countries with equipment in various Aerospace, Defense & Security sectors. This means that countries dependent on Russian arms for their security calculations should review all purchases and clauses regarding their programs and payments. Download GlobalData’s 5th Ukraine Conflict Executive Briefing to learn more. This report is part of a continued series that is renewed monthly with the latest data and analysis, as the conflict develops and has wider implications across sectors. Access the latest macro-economic forecasts, charts with the latest data, and our updated sanctions tracker, as well as our updated sector scorecards to reflect the current views on the impact of the crisis at a company level.
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