Monday, August 10, 2009

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to Evacuate Injured During Combat

On Monday (August 3rd) Head of the Trauma Branch of the Medical Corps, Lt. Col. Dr. Gil Hirschorn, revealed that the Medical Corps is examining the possibility of purchasing an unmanned aerial vehicle in order to evacuate injured people. This was revealed during an operational program held in the corps. The IDF has been searching for a vehicle that is able to supply forces with equipment in various locations. According to the Medical Corps, an unmanned aerial vehicle is the right solution.

The leading candidate for this purchase is the Mule aircraft made by the Israeli company, Urban Aeronautic. The Mule has the same attributes as a helicopter; however it is more stable, cheaper, smaller and less noisy. The Medical Corps ascribes its narrow width as the most valuable benefit, given that the Mule is able to land in various areas that would normally be unreachable to other vehicles. As of now, the Mule can hold two injured people lying down; however in the future there will be place for a chaperone as well.

Lt. Col. Dr. Hirschorn a former flight medic adds that the aircraft will be used mostly in oceanic and urban areas because of its large use in evacuation. In addition to that, he emphasized that the unmanned aerial vehicles will count with gear such as a communications device to have contact between the injured people and the main center via video broadcast, proper protection, an installed stretcher, air-conditioning and the ability to monitor the injured people throughout the flight. A prototype of the evacuating vehicle will be displayed in the end of this year however; its operational version is expected to come only until the year 2012. The interest in the project is vast and foreign militaries across the globe are examining the possibility to purchase as well.

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