JERUSALEM, Israel (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The number of flight hours performed by the Israeli air force (IAF) UAV squadrons is high and will become even higher when some dedicated missions performed by manned aircraft, will be handed to the unmanned platforms, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
“The UAV squadrons are getting a top priority continuous upgrades mainly of the payloads they carry” a source related to the effort said.
The trend is resulting with some major decisions about the way the IAF invests in its manned platforms.
One good example is the decision not to perform major upgrades of the IAF’s B-200 reconnaissance aircraft. This after a decision has been made to transfer all the missions of this platform to the Heron -TP UAV.
The last major upgrade of the B-200 platform was performed four years ago.
The B-200 squadron was the busiest in the IAF.
The IAF is continuously working on increasing the number and capabilities of its Heron-TP (Eitan) strategic UAV.
Based on the strategic capabilities of the Heron-TP, the IAF commander recently decided to multiply the number of UAV that the squadron operates.
The increase in the number of Israel aerospace industries (IAI) Heron – TP UAV is part of the IAF’s UAV master plan meant to build the force’s UAV arsenal in the coming 15 years.
To perform the missions of the manned reconnaissance aircraft, the Heron-TP is being equipped with new sensors and new communication systems. UAV are currently operating more than 50 % of the total flight hours performed by the IAF and this number is going to increase as new capabilities are added to currently operated systems. New UAV’s are now in the development phases and will enter service in the coming years.
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