TEL AVIV Ñ The Israel Air Force plans to procure a large and
long-range unmanned air vehicle that resembles a fighter-jet.
The UAV has been dubbed Eitan and has a wingspan of 26 meters and a
takeoff weight of four tons. This weight is about four times the size of the
largest UAV now in the Israel Air Force.
The state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries has developed the Eitan. The
Eitan was meant for automatic takeoff and landing.
The twin-tailed UAV will be powered by a turboprop engine and meant for
long flights. Details of the Eitan were published in the Israel Air Force
So far, IAI has built two prototypes of the Eitan. The air force
magazine said the UAV was in the advanced stages of development.
"This aircraft, with its advanced avionics, is on a level similar to
that of systems that operate on fighter-jets," Lt. Col. Boaz, responsible
for UAVs in the air force, told the Journal. "The system will operate with
complete autonomy and allow the operator to focus more on performing the
mission and less on flying the air platform."
Industry sources said the Eitan would be a multi-purpose UAV that could
carry out reconnaissance and attack missions. One of those missions, they
said, was the ability to locate and destroy mobile ballistic missile
The Defense Ministry has been developing the so-called Sniper system to
destroy missiles in the boost phase of launch. The Sniper would also be able
to destroy static
and moving targets.