Israel’s IAI to develop drones with US firm Sierra Nevada Corp. for military
Vertical takeoff and landing capability will reduce operational risk; production and maintenance planned for Mississippi and Alabama
Sierra Nevada Corporation, a US electronic systems provider, on Tuesday signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries to jointly develop new drones that can take off and land vertically.
The new tactical vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aircraft system will be developed for the US military market, IAI, the nation’s largest aerospace and defense company, said in a statement.
The drones will allow army units in forward positions to gain UAS intelligence and surveillance reconnaissance abilities in hostile environments without needing access to a runway. This will increase safety and reduce operational risk, the statement said.
SNC and IAI have been collaborating on projects for the past five years. The new venture will combine SNC’s experience in developing and testing out UAS in various launch conditions and environments, with IAI’s expertise in creating new vertical takeoff and landing solutions for drones.
The joint product will be manufactured, operated and maintained in the US. As the prime contractor, SNC will be responsible for the marketing and sales or lease of the products. The project is expected to create new jobs in Mississippi and Alabama, the statement said.