Israeli start-up XTEND has been awarded a contract to provide a hyper-enabled small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS), called SKYLORD XTENDER, for the US Department of Defense (DoD).

The contract was awarded by the DoD Special Operations / Low Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC), Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD) Assistant Secretary of Defense, in collaboration with Israel’s Ministry of Defense, Directorate of Defense Research & Development (Ma’fat).

XTEND is a provider of tactical drones for defence, national security, public safety, and industrial inspection markets.

According to XTEND, SKYLORD XTENDER provides a ‘unique, human-centric machine interface technology’.

This technology, which is designed to reduce human interaction with harsh environments, allows operators and first responders ‘to remotely intervene in dangerous situations, from a safe distance’.

The remote intervention will be done via drone by virtually ‘sitting inside’ the small sUAS.

XTEND co-founder and CEO Aviv Shapira said: “Hyper enabled drones are the future of engagement for dangerous situation worldwide.

“The IDF has recognised XTEND’s family of products called SKYLORD as one of the most effective technologies for urban warfare missions, specifically indoor and close-quarters combat.”

Shapira added that SKYLORD XTENDER is the company’s most advanced drone platforms. It will help the US DoD save lives and ensure ‘mission success’ in any combat operation.

The SKYLORD XTENDER platform is designed to allow any operator with very less or no flight experience to perform certain remote tasks in complex scenarios.

This capability of the platform prevents unnecessary dangers to humans.

Other capabilities include ‘approaching a target site from any location, performing recon and data collection tasks with extreme accuracy’.

XTEND co-founder Matteo Shapira said: “The SKYLORD XTENDER platform is so intuitive that it requires less than one hour of training to operate.

“Whether it’s a soldier scanning a building for enemy fighters, locating snipers, or providing ISR on a suspected enemy stronghold, our goal in developing this technology was to minimise the danger to human life.”