Skip to comments.Israel fields armed UAVs in Lebanon
Posted on 08/07/2006 9:05:03 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Israel fields armed UAVs in Lebanon
By Peter La Franchi in London
Operations in Lebanon and the Gaza strip are providing the first clear evidence that Israel has armed a number of unmanned air vehicles to reduce engagement times for time-sensitive targets. The USA is the only other nation known to operate armed UAVs.
The air vehicles involved are believed to be Israel Aircraft Industries Herons, which have only recently entered operational service with the Israeli air force. The missiles carried are possibly Rafael Spikes, although this has not been independently confirmed. The Israeli defence ministry has not responded to requests for comment.
Reports of weaponised Israeli UAVs being used in the current crisis include a 27 July operation over the Gaza Strip and a strike against suspected Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon 31 July.
Rafael has been pushing Spike as a weapons option for UAVs for at least two years. At the 2005 Paris air show Sagem displayed an early mock-up of its Sperwer-B UAV equipped with a single Spike dispenser tube under each wing.
Israel also operates IAI Searcher II and Elbit Hermes 450S unmanned air vehicles, both of which would be capable of carrying at least two Spike missiles in the configuration proposed for Sperwer.
Northrop Grumman last year revealed a two-Hellfire missile carriage capability for its Hunter II version of Heron as part of its unsuccessful bid for a US Army requirement.
Israel's deployment of armed UAVs appears to be limited and based around the Heron.
Israel is also making extensive use of UAVs for reconnaissance, off-board targeting for manned strike platforms and electronic intelligence gathering. Video sequences recorded by UAVs include one showing a Lockheed Martin Hellfire missile launched by a second platform during its terminal flight phase.
The USA deploys armed General Atomics Aeronautical Systems International MQ-1 Predator and Northrop RQ-5 Hunter UAVs in Afghanistan and Iraq, carrying Hellfire and Northrop Viper Strike missiles, respectively.
I love the sound of terrorists going splat in the morning...
"during its terminal flight phase"
Does that mean they just crash, or do the come back to the home base?
Looks like a TOW.
How rude! It's just common courtesy to reveal operational details of your weapons systems when engaged in an armed conflict.
Wonder how they're doing on getting a comment from Hezbollah on the manufacuring source and supply routes for their missiles?
It is a slimmer TOW missile, designed to kill terrorist targets with the least amount of collateral damage. Two Spikes can be put on a pylon that normally carries one TOW missile.
That phrase is referring to the terminal attack phase of the Hellfire missile being monitored by the Heron drone.The Heron returns 2 base.There is a photo of it in the original article I didn't post.
The circled object is the Hellfire missile.The image is taken by the Heron drone.
"The circled object is the Hellfire missile.The image is taken by the Heron drone."
These could really help the Israeli's as they can be used for search and destroy missions against Hezzbolah targets.