Israel's Aeronautics Introduces Orbiter 2 LM Loitering Munition to Complement Surveillance UAVs

Orbiter 2 LM can work with partner surveillance drones to conduct strikes
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  • 01:13 PM, June 17, 2024
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Israel's Aeronautics Introduces Orbiter 2 LM Loitering Munition to Complement Surveillance UAVs
Orbiter 2 loitering munition @Aeronautics

Israeli firm Aeronautics has introduced the Orbiter 2 LM, a one-way loitering munition designed to complement surveillance UAVs on the battlefield.

Eyal Assenhaym, Vice-President of Marketing and Business Development at Aeronautics Group, emphasized the changing landscape of conflict, citing recent events in Ukraine and ongoing tensions in Israel. He highlighted the importance of maneuvering forces and the critical need for organic intelligence capabilities on the ground in an interview with Breaking Defense.

The Orbiter 2 LM is envisioned to work in tandem with the newly developed Orbiter 2 STS (sensor-to-shooter) system. This integration allows the loitering munition to collaborate with nearby surveillance drones, providing pre-strike reconnaissance and post-strike damage assessment capabilities.

Assenhaym said, "You can buy one ISR Orbiter 2 together with some Orbiter 2LMs...Both have the same platform communication, ground control and the same HMI." Despite maintaining secrecy regarding specific customers, Assenhaym hinted at imminent deployments in the coming months.

Weighing approximately 28 pounds and boasting a wingspan of nine feet, the Orbiter 2 drone offers several hours of flight time. Aeronautics describes the new system as a next-generation iteration of its existing Orbiter 2 model, combining the lethality of a loitering munition with the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of a UAV.

Assenhaym emphasized the system's precision and efficiency, highlighting its ability to minimize collateral damage and its resistance to detection through low acoustic, optic, and radar signatures. He also noted the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) for enhanced target recognition and anti-jamming capabilities.

During a demonstration, Aeronautics displayed the Orbiter 2 LM striking a moving truck, highlighting its potential effectiveness against specific targets like radar antennas and command posts.

Furthermore, the LM's compatibility with existing surveillance drones streamlines logistical operations on the battlefield, enabling swift deployment and coordination. Assenhaym emphasized the system's ability to close the sensor-to-shooter circle efficiently, providing real-time bomb damage assessment (BDA) for follow-up attacks.

While specific customers remain undisclosed, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are known to utilize other drones from the Orbiter family.

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