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Israel indicates its drones are powerful combat operators

Illustrative: Israeli-made drone, Heron-1 (Photo: Israel Aerospace Industries)

The Israeli military recently reduced some of the secrecy regarding its drone program, after revealing in July that the Israeli Air Force and the Israel Defense Forces’ artillery unit typically use at least two types of drones. 

According to the new information, armed drones use gravity bombs, which are very difficult for enemies to detect because they lack engine noise and exhaust smoke. The larger of Israel’s two drones is capable of carrying up to one ton of munitions, according to the IDF. 

An IDF spokesperson stated that all Israeli drone munitions are Israeli-made and can “come down in free fall and can reach the speed of sound.”

While Israeli manufacturers do not publicize the munitions capabilities of the nation's drones, under a Ministry of Defense policy of secrecy, there are several alternatives based on their specifications and abilities.

One drone that Israel likely uses is the Heron TP, known as “Eitan” [“strong”], which is produced by Israel Aerospace Industries. This drone has a listed maximum weight of 2,700 kilograms, which includes all mission systems, like radar and communications components, as well as combat payloads. 

The second drone is believed to be manufactured by Elbit Systems, another major supplier of weapons technology to the IDF. In 2019, Jerusalem Post correspondent Seth Frantzman wrote about Israel’s innovation in the combat drone space.

The timing of today's Reuters article is interesting given the fact that Iran officially blamed Israel for the attack on a munitions factory in the Iranian city of Isfahan over the weekend. Some Israeli news sites also speculated that Israel could be behind the attacks. 

Following standard protocol, Israel issued no comment on the Isfahan attacks. 

Read more: IDF

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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