from the April 2008 issue

UAVs to replace most manned coastal air patrols

Defense News reports that a new fleet of Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), made by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) will soon be deployed operationally for coastal air patrol by the Israel Air Force (IAF). The UAVs will replace manned air patrols, easing the burden of the flight and ground crews.

The Heron 1 is the first marine patrol UAV developed and built in Israel. It will replace the 30-year old Westwind Seascan patrol planes currently used for the coastal patrol mission. The Westwind Seascan is a military version of the Westwind executive jet.

Defense News adds that the Heron 1 will be equipped with EL/M20222U reconnaissance and surveillance radars made by IAI subsidiary Elta Systems Ltd. Defense News quotes Ministry of Defense and defense industry sources as saying that the combination of sophisticated radar with the UAV's extended endurance will enable the IAF to monitor Israel's coastline and territorial waters more extensively and efficiently than with the Westwind fleet. The Heron 1 can stay aloft for more than 50 hours, flying at an altitude of 32,000 feet.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report April 2008

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