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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Iran

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Israel Rolls Out World’s Biggest UAV

February 22, 2010 - 1:05 PM | by: Mike Tobin

Rattling a saber and marketing a product at the same time, Israel rolls a new Unmanned Arial Vehicle into action.

The Eitan or Heron is not just any drone. It’s a whopper as big as a Boeing 737, capable of staying in the air for 20 hours and capable of reaching Iran.

That brings us to the saber rattling motivation of rolling this aircraft out before the cameras.  An Israeli Air Force commander said, “It could reach anywhere that the Israeli air force needed to reach.” Consider that a thinly veiled reminder to Iran and the rest of the world that Israel is aggressively maintaining its ability to strike Iran if sanctions are not effective at discouraging the nuclear ambition of the Islamic regime.

The other motivation is commercial. Israel Aerospace Industries want to sell this UAV to other countries.

It is capably of flying higher than any other drone. The original plan for the aircraft was deep penetration to do things like surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition. But at the end of the day, it is a big airplane that can be customized to carry all types of loads including mid-air refueling gear and weapons.

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