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Expanding its tactical UAS activities, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) signed an agreement on 24 September to buy a 50% holding in BlueBird Aero Systems, acquiring the holdings of Indian firm Piramal Technologies plus additional shares from Ronen Nadir and Fiberless Access. Nadir will hold the remaining 50% of the company and will continue to serve as CEO.

Both companies have focused on VTOL capabilities in recent years, providing significant benefits to ground and naval forces. BlueBird has developed several advanced VTOL platforms, including the WonderB-VTOL and ThunderB-VTOL. The company has recently sold over 70 systems to an undisclosed customer. Together with Bluebird, IAI plans to bring innovative and groundbreaking VTOL technologies to market.

The acquisition is a further implementation of IAI’s UAS strategy, pursuing the significant potential the company predicts in the small tactical UAS (sTUAS) market for military, security, and commercial applications. The acquisition will enable IAI to grow its operations and revenues, accelerating technological developments while lowering costs, reducing the time to market process, and improving competitiveness.

Bluebird brings advanced technological capabilities in the small tactical UAS world and has been fortunate to supply its systems to numerous customers around the world. Along with IAI’s vast technological and innovative abilities and its infrastructure and world market access, we will continue to grow the company and extend its market share,” stated Nadir Moshe Levy, IAI EVP and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Group, added “IAI’s UAV experience spans close to 50 years. During this time IAI has focused on customizing its developments to the needs arising from the field and the market. The acquisition of BlueBird is an implementation of this strategy, offering us an important leap forward in developing the next IAI UAV family. The combined companies will offer a broader portfolio of VTOL products with advanced technological benefits at competitive prices.”

Since 2006 BlueBird UAS, such as the WonderB, have conducted over 52,000 operational sorties. (Photo via IAI)

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