australian aviation logo

Babcock Australasia and IAI partner on drone solutions

written by Robert Dougherty | February 15, 2023

WanderB VTOL

Babcock and Israeli aerospace manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will work with each other to explore drone options that could be used by Australian police, disaster management teams or for surveillance operations.

Under the memorandum of understanding, the two companies will execute local demonstrations of the IAI WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL systems in front of local authorities and agencies.

Both the devices are hybrid aircraft, meaning they can take off like a helicopter from a small area but fly like a fixed-wing plane.

“This partnership with IAI is about bringing together solutions that are the best fit for our customers, integrating our rotary capabilities with RPAs to deliver the most effective and cost-efficient solutions,” Peter Newington, Babcock’s director of aviation and critical services, said.

“The addition of autonomous systems reduces operator workloads and augments existing capabilities with flexible, rapidly deployable, long-endurance assets for law enforcement, maritime surveillance, disaster management or environmental situational awareness.


“The platforms are readily configurable to provide appropriate sensors for the task at hand coupled with the ability to distribute video and other user critical data in near real time across end-user networks.

“Importantly, a key element of our offer to state and federal government agencies is that Babcock already holds a Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (ReOC) which will allow us to operate RPAs like the WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL in Australia,” Newington said.

According to Yonatan Segev, managing director IAI Australia, the partnership is expected to provide the customer with fundamental intelligence and situation awareness.

“IAI’s systems have been tested in extreme environmental conditions and comply with the end user’s operational needs, providing them with significant operational advantages,” Segev explained.

“From the Tactical WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL systems to the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) Maritime Heron, IAI looks forward to bringing the most advanced technology together with our partners in Babcock to offer unique operational solutions to customers.”

Meir Shabtai, vice president and general manager of the Malat Division, IAI, explained that the capabilities will employ emerging artificial intelligence and sensing capabilities.

“For four decades, IAI has occupied a position as the pioneer and leader in the field of unmanned aerial systems, offering a broad range of strategic and tactical UAVs. Technological developments in the UAV field include artificial intelligence capabilities, integration of a wide range of sensors, and a precise real-time intelligence picture,” he said.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.