The Air Force's largest unmanned aircraft is scheduled to begin operations within several months after eight years in development, Ynet learned. In the past it was reported that the Eitan UAV was developed to reach Iran and Sudan.
Several Eitan UAVs are scheduled to begin operations in the various combat sectors including Gaza and Lebanon.
Weighing five tons, Eitan is 14 meters long and has 26 meter-long wings. It is able to fly for 20 hours straight at a maximum speed of 143 Knots and reach a maximum altitude of 41,000 feet.
Eitan can fly up to 20 hours straight (Photo: Reuters)
Eitan is meant to be utilized in complex intelligence gathering missions. It has already been dubbed "the most advanced UAV in the world."
The "heavy UAV," as it has been called, will also attempt to distinguish between terrorists and civilians in sensitive combat regions. "For the first time in military history we have a combatant who takes part in intercepting military targets with no direct threat to his life," Lieutenant-Colonel Ido Frumer said.
"This requires a very solid ideal system and that is why we have arranged for an ethics workshop during the training course."
Lieutenant Dudi, an IAF instructor added that "UAV operators are able to make life and death decisons away from the battlefield and we have taught them how to make the right decisions under pressure. On the one hand they will stick to IDF values which emphasize persistence and on the other we have stressed the importance of morality."
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop