IAI has been deemed the leading UAV supplier to Israel. In 1981, the
state-owned company supplied the Scout tactical UAV for reconnaissance
missions over Lebanon.
Since then, the air force has been supplied by other Israeli companies,
including Elbit Systems and Aeronautics Defense Systems. UAVs by both firms
have been used in counter-insurgency operations in the Gaza Strip.
Israel has also been developing combat UAV platforms. Industry sources
said many of Israel's new platforms were capable of firing light
For its part, IAI has developed strategic UAV platforms, particularly
Eitan, with a wingspan of 26 meters, or that of a Boeing 737 aircraft.
Eitan, which can reach an altitude of 41,000 feet, was said to be based on
the Heron turboprop platform.
IAI has focused in marketing its Heron medium-altitude, long-endurance
UAV. So far, Heron, with an endurance of more than 24 hours, was said to
have been operated by 15 militaries, including at least four NATO armies in
"The Heron UAV can carry multiple payloads and operate them
simultaneously when needed: electro-optical payloads, maritime patrol radar,
synthetic aperture radar, relay equipment, various communication systems and
more, according to customer needs," IAI said.