Israeli drones said operating over Iraq and Afghanistan
Foreign reports indicate that U.S.-led coalition has been deploying IAI-produced UAVs in war on terror.
By Yossi Melman
Ha’aretz, 19 March 2009
Israeli-manufactured unmanned aerial vehicles have been operating in the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan in the service of the United States-led coalition for the last three years.
According to reports in foreign media, the unpiloted aircrafts are products of the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
Over Iraq, the U.S. Army has been operating Hunter model UAVs that were manufactured in IAI’s Mississippi-based subsidiary Stark Aerospace. The top contractor for the project is the American defense company Northrop Grumman.
Reports say the aircraft have been deployed in various missions with considerable success.
Within the last year, the Canadian air force has also operated Israeli-made Heron UAVs over Afghanistan to assist Canada’s ground forces in combat against the Taliban.
It is not known whether any Israeli UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan were shot down, yet no reports of such incidents have been received.
Though the UAVs were manufactured in Israel, there are no identifying marks on the aircraft to indicate the country of origin.