from the September 2007 issue

Eitan a high altitude long endurance UAV

Israel ranked fourth in worldwide defense exports, behind the United States Russia and France. Though its defense budget is only just over $10b. it managed to record $5.1b. in export orders while shipments totaled $3.4b. Defense News predicts that an ever-growing percentage of sales will be accounted by UAVs. The Israeli government is funding the development of an advanced HALE UAV named Eitan which will be the largest UAV Israel has ever built. The new system, most probably based on the Turboprop-powered Heron (Heron TP) will be used for strategic long endurance missions (over 50 hours). Eitan's gross takeoff weighs is about four tons and has length of 13 meters a wing span of 26 meters. The overall design is based on a twin-tail concept derived from the proven Heron system. Two prototypes are believed to be flying.

According to Aviation Week Show News, Eitan made its maiden flight Friday, July 15, 2006 in Israel. The new MALE UAV will provide the Israel Air Force persistent, high altitude, long endurance capability well beyond the reach of enemy air defenses, far beyond the Israeli borders.

The new platform will be able to deploy multiple sensors, and fly on extended missions for extended durations, beyond the capabilities of current UAVs. To enable extended operations, Eitan uses new highly redundant avionics suite based on new generation of UAV avionics and controllers developed by RADA.

Another newcomer is Elbit's Hermes 900. The UAV us a medium altitude, long endurance UAV. IT WIGHS 970 Kg. At takeoff and carries a 300kg. payload and the craft can stay aloft for more than 30 hours.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report September 2007

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