Huge Israeli drone capable of reaching Iran crashes

The Heron TP is the largest UAV in the IAF. It has a 26 - meter-long wingspan - the size of a Boeing 737.

Jerusalem: One of Israel`s most advanced drone - the size of a Boeing 737 - capable of flying as far as Iran crashed today during a test flight, the military said.

The Heron TP unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed during
a test flight near the Tel Nof Air Force Base in central
Israel.

No injuries were reported in the incident, Jerusalem Post
reported.

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 report said.

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 USD 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 reports, the drone has the ability to also
launch missiles, and in Israel it is often referred to as the
UAV "that can reach Iran."

Ties between Iran and Israel have increased following
Teheran`s alleged nuclear ambitions and funding of the groups
Hamas and Hezbollah. Israel has said that it will not tolerate
a nuclear-armed Iran.

PTI

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