Unmanned systems at the front of homeland security

The homeland security conference in Israel on September 11 has attracted a lot of attention – not only because it is on a very meaningful date. The attention is not only because of Israel’s need for homeland security, but also for the solutions that have been developed.

The conference, organised by the Israeli Technologies Group, will focus on homeland security on land and at sea.

Col (Res) Amnon Ben David was head of security for the Israeli air force (IAF) and will chair the conference. He said on August 22 that the threats from the sea are increasing all the time, and “any country has to protect its natural resources at sea and strategic facilities located on the shore, where an attack from sea can be staged”.

The conference will also deal with the threat to the new Israeli gas reservoirs recently discovered off the Israeli coast.

Not all the systems dedicated to the protection of these reservoirs are discussed openly, but foreign sources said the IAF is operating Heron-1 unmanned air systems (UAS) to protect the reservoirs from possible terrorist attacks by Hezbollah.

The IAF is operating Heron-1 (Soval) UAS with maritime patrol sensors as a “subcontractor” to the Israeli navy.

The maritime Heron is gradually replacing the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Westwind 1124 business jets in Seascan configuration, which have been in operation since 1978.

The maritime UAS are equipped with a similar payload to that carried by the Seascan. This includes an Elta search radar and a Tamam-stabilised long-range optical observation system.

The Heron has an endurance of over 40h at an altitude of 30,000ft (9,144m). It can carry multiple payloads with a total weight of 250kg.

The foreign sources also claim that Rafael Protector unmanned armed boats are also participating in the security duty, and “talk” with the UAS.

UAS operating in conjunction with unmanned vessels are gaining popularity among those responsible for this wide aspect of homeland security.




 Heron in Flight 2.jpg

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