Israeli Start-up Building Robotic Weapon to Protect Search and Rescue Helicopters

Airborne robotic weapon system designed by Israeli startup Duke Airborne Systems provides automated suppression fire for helicopters at their most vulnerable.

An Israeli startup is developing a robotic weapons system designed to protect a helicopter when it is at its most vulnerable – flying over hostile terrain on a search and rescue mission, such as retrieving wounded from the battlefield.

Currently, most rescue helicopters are equipped with a manual gun operated by a soldier, which provides inadequate suppression fire when attempting to search, land and quickly take-off in the midst of battle, says Sagiv Aharon, CEO of Duke Airborne Systems.

His company's solution is to provide autonomous suppression fire over a panoramic targeting zone for search and rescue helicopters.

"There are helicopters like the Apache and other attack helicopters that their aim is an attack but I'm talking about protecting the aircraft," Aharon says. "You need to know where the target is and fire back as quickly as possible. And that is this unique solution that we give for search and rescue helicopters."

The Duke Airborne solution is a state-of-the-art robotic system with maximized stability and accuracy, as well as an array of sensors to accurately pinpoint potential threats.

The system is also designed to operate on other platforms, including airborne drones and ground and marine vehicles.