Israeli Air Force Launches Eitan UAV Aircraft

22 February 2010 (Last Updated February 22nd, 2010 18:30)

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has launched Eitan, an advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries. The Eitan UAV can stay in the air for over 20 hours, carry very large cargo and fly very far, much further than any other unmanned drone

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has launched Eitan, an advanced unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries.

The Eitan UAV can stay in the air for over 20 hours, carry very large cargo and fly very far, much further than any other unmanned drone in Israel, according to www.ynetnews.com.

Physically larger than any other drone, Eitan is capable of flying at higher altitudes.

Equipped with more advanced technological systems, it can carry more weight compared with the 250kg maximum carried by Israel's previously most-advanced drone.

Israel will use Eitan to gather information at all theatres, with an emphasis on distant ones – including Iran.

The IAF plans to officially inaugurate a new Eitan squadron into the air force fleet within a year, if its development is completed successfully within time.

IAF has also unveiled its new fleet of unmanned Heron TP drones made by state-owned manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries.

According to air force officials, the Heron TP, which has an 86ft wingspan, can fly 20 consecutive hours, making it capable of flying to Iran and back.

Their primary use will be for surveillance and for carrying payloads. They were first put in to use during the Israel-Gaza conflict in 2009.

Officials refused to reveal how large the fleet actually was or if the purpose was to spy on Iran.