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Israel's Heron TP: How It Can Be Used Against Iran

Updated on February 22, 2010

Israeli officials have hinted about how its new pilot less drone, the Heron 2, could be used to reach Iran for intelligence and attack purposes. The Heron 2 is the size of a 737 commerical airliner and capable of flying for over 30 hrs and can be armed with up to 250 kg of missiles, it has an altitude of 45,000 ft. The aircraft is fitted with the world's most sophisticated detection devices and controlled by a three man unit based on the ground.

Most of the IDF drones are in the 166 and 200 Squadrons. When parked next to a F-15 fighter, the F-15 is dwarfed. The Heron is capable of ECM jamming, conduct surveillance similar to the American Predator and connect to flying aircraft for direction.

As to the threat to Iran, the Heron's only real threat is its ability to fly undetected over their airspace to collect intelligence. Even if the Heron was capable of carrying a bunker busting bomb that can penetrate hardened missile silos or underground nuclear facilities, it would be similar to finding a needle in a haystack to make it be effective. Even it were a success, the Heron could not carry more than one or two of those bombs. Thus, it would require a massive amount of Heron's to do the job since Iran has many of their faciilties underground and unknown.

The reality is that the US already has Predator drones capable of reaching Iran to gather intelligence, which may already be hovering above. The US has spy satelites capable of much the same thing. The bottom line is that the Heron TP drone is not a real threat to Iran and does not have the ability to destroy the Iranian nuclear program.


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    • kschang profile image

      kschang 7 years ago from San Francisco, CA, USA

      As it is prop driven, it appears that its role is more about endurance missions such as prolonged surveillance and monitoring, then for speed or actual strike missions.

      It will take MUCH MUCH heavier bomb, such as the ground penetrator used in the Gulf War, combined with the latest thermobaric explosives, to destroy the suspected Iranian facilities.

      Keep in mind that Iraqi bunkers in the Gulf War resisted 2000 pound penetrators, and US fielded 5000 pound penetrators to combat them. You probably need something 5-10 times larger than the 5K pound bomb to defeat a deeply buried facility, and it's questionable if the Israelis actually have a plane that can carry such a bomb... Unless they make a nuclear version.