Sierra Nevada Corp. announced Tuesday it has signed an agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to develop a new tactical Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the U.S. market.
Under the strategic cooperation agreement, SNC is responsible for system integration on the IAI-built VTOL UAS, which would be developed to assist forward-positioned units with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.
Sierra Nevada Corp. and Israel Aerospace Industries officials following the signing of their new cooperation agreement. Photo: IAI.
“The companies see great potential in this collaboration for special mission applications in the American tactical UAS market over the next decade as the increased use of unmanned aircraft continues to enhance the operational flexibility, safety and effectiveness of U.S. military air operations,” SNC officials said in a statement.
SNC bring previous experience testing small UAS for the military market, and will now incorporate IAI’s VTOL-capable solutions for potential U.S. customers.
“I am confident that SNC’s leading engineering expertise and strong U.S. foothold combined with IAI’s experience and leadership with unmanned systems, including VTOL, will create a high-quality American system to meet the market’s growing needs." Shaul Shahar, executive vice president of IAI’s military aircraft group, said in a statement.
The VTOL UAS would provide military intelligence units with ISR assets capable of functioning in threat environments and areas without access to a runway.
SNC will serve as the prime contractor for any future U.S. deals involving its VTOL UAS platform with IAI.