On Sunday, armed Air Force IDF adopted a new unmanned aerial vehicle «Eitan» (Creation of the Israeli group «aviation industry», IAI). This UAV, which is the biggest in the world, superior in size, range, maximum height and payload class drones «Heron-1» and South American counterparts.
Almost UAV «Eitan» («Heron TP») entered service IDF Air Force in June 2011. They will operate as part of the 210th squadron of heavy drones. But formal «certificate of acceptance» held on 21 February 2010.
Length of this UAV is 15 meters, wingspan — 26 meters. To compare its size with the size of combat manned aircraft based on the Tel Nof were exhibited tactical fighter and F-15 combat helicopter. «Eitan» size they are not inferior.
Apparently, «Eitan» able not only to do reconnaissance tasks, and put the missile attacks on those objectives. In general, the Israeli military who took this UAV Air Force Base, Tel Nof, from some comments on this occasion abstained.
From unofficial sources it is clear that «Eitan» can survive in the air up to 36 hours for all this work to an altitude of 13 km, which makes it almost imperceptible, for example, for missiles S-300.
Ceremony based on Tel Nof began with takeoff UAV «Eitan». Speeches were made by the Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Ido Nehoshtan and commander of the base of Tel Nof Brigadier General Amikam Norkin.
The representative of the Israeli Air Force did not respond to a reporter channel RTVi Sergei Grankina about whether the «Eitan» patrol the border in South Lebanon (this assumption was expressed last week in a report war correspondent radio «Kol Yisrael» Carmela Menashe). But with all this military openly stated that this UAV has made its own first flight in 2006, was tested last winter during the counterterrorist operation «Cast Lead» in the Gaza Strip.
Very soft-spoken and stands were based on the Tel Nof, where photos of the new drone coexisted with images of hidden objects in the field of nuclear Iran. Although the military and did not give any comments on this issue.
Development of UAV «Eitan» was started about 10 years ago. In a day when the aircraft was adopted by the IDF, the military stressed that perceive this as the completion of the grand event.
Judging by the fact that the presentation was attended by representatives of all zabugornyh media accredited in Israel, UAV «Eitan» will not only serve in the IDF, and will soon be serving in the armies of other states. The creators of this aircraft in discussions with reporters noted that «Eitan» brought into line with international standards. Recall that in 2006, the year «Eitan» was presented at the air show in Le Bourget. Likely customers this machine can become European countries already implementing the project together with IAI UAV medium-long duration flight.
Russian expert, chief editor of the special portal UAV.ru Denis Fedutinov notes that outside «Eitan» very similar to the UAV «Heron». But it is significantly larger and heavier than «younger model». According to him, «here is imposed analogy with South American UAV Reaper — a larger version of the UAV Predator, having enhanced ability to shock.»
Your weight drone «Eitan» of approximately 4 tons. With all this it can raise in the air even one ton «payload». «Apparently, and» Eitan «, compared with the smallest UAV class, apart from the various systems including combined payload and infrared optoelectronic system for observation, reconnaissance and target indication radar, signals intelligence and electronic warfare equipment, will be able to carry a weapon on board. In this case it will not be a couple of missiles, UAVs like Heron «, — considers Fedutinov.
Note that the role of UAVs in military operations, usually not advertised by the press service of the IDF. One can only assume that «Eitan» has been tried in those or other intelligence-gathering operations, destruction of caravans loaded with weapons to Palestinian militants for targeted killings of terrorists, etc. And it is unclear what the geography of flights already taken it the world’s largest unmanned aerial vehicle.