Sunday, January 29, 2012

Israel's most advanced drone crashes in test flight

The Heron TP, Israel's most advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed Sunday morning during a test flight near the Tel Nof Air Force Base in central Israel.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

The Israel Air Force launched a probe to determine the cause of the crash and was looking into the whether it was caused by human error or was the result of a technical malfunction.

The Heron TP is the largest UAV in the IAF. It has a 26 - meter-long wingspan – the size of a Boeing 737 – and can stay airborne for up to 45 hours. It can carry 1,000 kg. in payloads, making it capable of conducting a wide variety of missions.

The flight during which the crash occurred was a joint operation of the IAF and the Heron TP's developer, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

In July, France announced its decision to purchase the Heron TP in the first export deal for the UAV. The deal is estimated to reach close to $500 million over a number of years and could lead to additional contracts for IAI as other countries, such as Germany, seek to upgrade their UAV capabilities.

The Heron TP was declared on schedule to be operational by the end of the year.

According to foreign reports, it has the ability to also launch missiles, and in Israel it is often referred to as the UAV “that can reach Iran.”



Post a Comment

<< Home