Warplanes: May 19, 2002


Israel is moving its older Scout UAVs to training units, replacing them with Searchers. The Searcher carries 325 pounds of sensors, can fly for 16 hours, and each one flies for an average of 2,000 hours before being lost to some failure. The new Hermes-450, which has GPS navigation, carries the same 325 pound payload. It can fly 18 hours, and promises 3,000 flight hours average useful life. The Israelis have found manned helicopters to be the primary support platforms for urban combat, as they can loiter on station and deliver a variety of weapons with extreme precision. --Stephen V Cole


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