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For the record

  • Who: Israel Aerospace Industries

  • What: Largest operational unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)

  • Where: Israel

In February 2010 at the Air Force Base of Tel Nof in Central Israel, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled the latest development of the Heron TP UAV, named the Eitan. It has a maximum take-off weight of 4,650 kg (10,250 lb), a wingspan of 86 feet, and a length of 46 feet, and is powered by a 1,200 hp (895kW) turbojet engine, enabling it to carry high-resolution cameras, electronic systems and, possibly, weapons. The overall dimensions approach that of a Boeing 737 airliner, and it is the largest UAV in operational service anywhere in the world and capable of staying airborne for well over 20 hours at an operational altitude of around 45,000 feet.


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