Ten years of Sho­val

SP's MAI - - UNMANNED UPDATES -

The Sho­val (Heron 1) UAV joined the Is­raeli Air Force 10 years ago, tak­ing the UAV di­vi­sion a step for­ward. Since then, it has taken a cen­tral role and ac­tive part in Is­rael’s re­cent mil­i­tary oper­a­tions and per­formed var­i­ous mis­sions. “The Sho­val UAV was a quan­tum leap in the world of UAVs, like the Baz (F-15) and the Adir (F-35I) in the fighter di­vi­sion”, said Colonel (Res’) Hodi La­hav, who com­manded the First UAV Squadron when the Sho­val was in­te­grated in 2007.

It per­forms a large va­ri­ety of mis­sions such as re­con­nais­sance, lo­ca­tion of MIA (Miss­ing in Ac­tion) and other oper­a­tions the UAV di­vi­sion leads in due to its unique char­ac­ter­is­tics. “We work around the clock”, em­pha­sised Lt Colonel Arik, Com­man­der of the First UAV Squadron. “We per­form mis­sions from the strate­gic level to the rou­tine se­cu­rity level”.

The Sho­val can stay in the air for up to 30 hours, an abil­ity that al­lows it to fly to far places or al­ter­na­tively fly over a tar­get for long pe­ri­ods of time for the pur­pose of in­tel­li­gence gather­ing. Its sin­gle en­gine is con­sid­ered espe­cially trust­wor­thy and is char­ac­terised by silent ac­tiv­ity which con­trib­utes to its quiet flight, a clear need when deal­ing with long range or in­tel­li­gence mis­sions in which low sig­na­ture is crit­i­cal for the suc­cess of the mis­sion.

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