Unmanned air systems in rescue missions for downed pilots

Another mission was recently added to the long list already performed by Israel Air Force (IAF) unmanned air systems (UAS).

The first UAS squadron of the IAF is training to support the 669 search and rescue unit in locating a downed pilot.

The mission is performed by the squadron’s Heron 1 UAS, which has a long endurance capability and very “sharp eyes” in the form of advanced payloads.

The squadron is training in different terrains to find a wounded pilot who has parachuted from his aircraft.

The versatility of the UAS and their long endurance are, according to the IAF, some of the most important advantages in search and rescue missions for downed pilots, especially in hostile territory.

The training is based on achieving the shortest reaction time between detection and identification of the pilot, who is sometimes hiding from enemy forces, and a helicopter being over him to lift him to safety.

Of the long list of missions – most of them classified – performed by the IAF UAS this one is almost “tailored” to this type of platform – flying for hours without a pilot, who can become tired and less focused on the mission.

I have a feeling the mission list of the IAF’s UAS squadrons will lengthen as time passes. This unmanned tool is proving, on a daily basis, it is one of the more capable the IAF has ever operated.

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