Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturing and systems integrating division, Malat, has sold what is believed to be the first UAV ground control station (GCS) system for forward deployed troops. Malat was unable to disclose the buyer or the value of the contract but it is known that the remote camera-guided flight-control stationis integrated to a Searcher UAV system which is operated by several countries including Israel, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand.
SIPRI also reported that Thailand has received Searcher UAV (photo : Global Security)
There are more than 100 medium-endurance Searcher air vehicles in operation with about 20 ground-control stations in service. The GCS is specifically designed for manoeuvre troops but the major control functions such as launch and retrieval are carried out by standard rear-deployed systems. Once the system is launched and in the operational area, control is taken over by manoeuvre troops with direction of flight controlled by camera movement. The system has rearward GCS redundancy control if there is a problem with the datalink or control from the manoeuvre GCS.
The system is largely made from commercial-off-the-shelf components with ruggedised computer. It was described by sources as being a "part of the existing system with major changes in software only". An IAI official said: "Camera-guided control is available for all our systems with operation occurring through active video terminals." The system will also be technically capable of handing camera-guided control from one platoon to another. A major advantage of the manoeuvre GCS is that, for the first time, personnel at a lower echelon can take direct control over the information they receive. This control becomes particularly important for effective real-time information gathering and immediate battle damage assessment.
Sumber : Jane’s