BlueBird Aero Systems, partially owned (50% of shares) by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), completed the delivery of 100 WanderB-VTOL UAVs to a European customer.
The Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) UAVs are part of a transaction involving more than 150 WanderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL UAVs worth tens of millions of US dollars. This is the world’s largest number of VTOL UAVs delivered to any customer at one time and was completed within the agreed timetable despite COVID-19 conditions.
Founded in 2002, BlueBird Aero Systems is a dominant player in the UAS industry. BlueBird specializes in the design, development, and production of micro, mini and tactical UAS and peripheral equipment and delivers exceptional, field-proven solutions to meet the challenges of the military, homeland security (HLS), and civilian markets.
The transaction reflects a globally emerging trend of VTOL UAVs, which provide important benefits for land and maritime applications as they combine the advantages of a fixed-wing UAV (long-range, long-endurance, high speed, wind independency, large area coverage, etc.) with the advantages of a multi-copter (ability to take off and land in confined areas, accurate, safe and damage-free landing, etc.).
IAI’s 50% acquisition of BlueBird Aero Systems, which was recently approved by Israel’s government, is tapping into the potential of this emerging trend. Over the past few years, BlueBird developed several advanced VTOL platforms. The asset and capability combination of IAI and BlueBird is expected to yield additional breakthrough operational solutions on the market.
IAI EVP and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Division and incoming Chairman of the Board at BlueBird Moshe Levy said in a statement: “I am excited to celebrate this important milestone. BlueBird is delivering a product providing a unique solution to the customer’s operational challenges. I am confident BlueBird with IAI’s collaboration will yield future transactions and lead to the development of more sophisticated tactical VTOL UAV systems.”
BlueBird’s Founder and CEO Ronen Nadir said in a statement: “BlueBird’s VTOL systems provide vital intelligence and situational awareness in real-time to the end user’s infantry, armored units, artillery corps, and special forces, serving as their ‘eye in the sky,’ effectively handling the challenged of the modern battlefield. The systems have been tested in extreme environmental conditions and comply with the end user’s operational needs, providing them with significate operational advantages. Once again, our leadership in cutting edge VTOL solutions is setting the stage for next-generation tactical UAVs.”