Israeli UAV fights drugs in El Salvador

Heron flies more than 10 missions, including over 100 hours in support of counter-drug surveillance.

May 30, 2009 23:52
1 minute read.
uav heron 248.88

uav heron 248.88. (photo credit: IAI)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

It plays a vital role in IDF operations in the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon, and for the past month the Israeli-made Heron unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has also been used in combating South American drug runners in El Salvador. On Friday, the United States Southern Command announced that together with the Salvadoran Military it had completed a month-long evaluation of the Heron UAV, designed and manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The UAV was evaluated to judge its suitability for counter-drug missions in South America and the Pacific. It was the first time that the drone, designed for intelligence gathering and surveillance, was used in counter-drug operations. The Heron, which already flies missions in Afghanistan on behalf of the Canadian military, arrived in El Salvador in late April and flew more than 10 missions, including more than 100 hours in direct support of counter-drug surveillance along Central America's Pacific coast. The Heron is capable of remaining in the air close to two days straight without refueling. It can fly at an altitude of 30,000 feet, making it a difficult target for standard anti-aircraft weapons. It has the ability to carry a 250 kg payload, in comparison to the 100 kg the Searcher is able to hold. The Heron has a wingspan of 16.6 meters and weighs 1,200 kilograms, with an operational range of hundreds of kilometers and the ability to fly in all weather conditions, as well as during the day and at night. "We believe that in the course of conducting this evaluation, we were able to gather enough observations to determine that unmanned aircraft systems indeed have a positive future in supporting counter drug operations," said US Navy Cmdr. Kevin Quarderer, one of the leaders of the project.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town