Murphy's Law: Israeli UAVs Based In Syria

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August 7, 2016: In early 2016 reports began coming out of Syria that Israeli UAVs were operating from government bases there. Israel denied that it had sold UAVs to the Assad government and it was soon revealed that these Israeli Searcher 2 UAVs were indeed operating from Syrian military bases but the UAVs were Russian made, under license.

In March 2014 Russia began licensed production of the Israeli Searcher 2 UAV. This came after negotiations that began in 2007 and concluded with user trials by Russian troops. The Searcher 2 is a half-ton aircraft with an endurance of 20 hours, max altitude of 7,500 meters (23,000 feet) and can operate up to 300 kilometers from the operator. It can carry a 120 kg (264 pound) payload. The Russian Air Force now has several dozen Russian made Searcher 2s. The production deal included the Searcher 3, which is an upgrade of Searcher 2 that has a quieter and more efficient engine. Many of the components were imported from Israel for assembly in Russia. That was revealed in 2015 when Ukrainian forces shot down some Searchers and got to examine the wreckage. There they found Israeli and Russian components.

Searcher is also used by India, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey.

 


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