Spain has bought four Israeli Searcher II UAV systems for use by Spanish
troops in Afghanistan. Each system includes four UAVs and ground control gear,
and costs about $5 million. The Searcher II is a half ton aircraft with a 300
pound sensor payload (about the same as the one ton Predator) and an endurance
of fifteen hours. This version of the Searcher has been in service for six
years and has a good reputation. India is using more than a dozen of them for
maritime reconnaissance. On the downside, Pakistan reported, in June, 2002,
that one of its F-16s had shot down (with a Sidewinder) an Indian Searcher that
had crossed the border. This was apparently the first air-to-air kill of a UAV
by a manned fighter (although one or two Predators may have been taken down by Iraqi fighters in 2001-2).
that mishap, Searchers have one of the best reliability track records of any
military UAV. Israeli and Singapore have also been heavy users, and are
satisfied with the aircraft performance.