The numbers tell the story and here are only two: almost 50% of the operational flight hours performed by the Israeli air force (IAF) are of unmanned air systems (UAS); the second, also impressive, is that the different UAS made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have accumulated more than one million operational flight hours worldwide.
Joseph Weiss, IAI’s president and CEO, said on November 25 that IAI has long been a pioneer in the field of UAS.
“With over 40 years of operational experience and 50 customers worldwide, I am proud to announce that IAI’s unmanned aerial systems have accumulated over one million flight hours.
“The Heron UAS has been the leading system in its class in the international markets for over a decade and has been sold to 20 customers worldwide.”
Weiss said the Heron has accumulated more than 200,000 operational flight hours, with extensive use in combat in Afghanistan and other hot spots around the world.
“As a result of the lessons learned from the Heron’s exceptional history and extensive experience, we continue to refine and upgrade the Heron and our UAS design,” he said.
Talking with the professionals who attended the unmanned air systems and robotics exhibition (AUS&R) in Israeli yesterday, it can be said that the numbers are growing steadily.
More UAS will enter service with armed forces and a growing number will be used for civil missions.
The regulatory barriers are still a limiting factor, but the requirements grow and solutions will be found until, according to industry players, the UAS will be fully integrated into the airspaces of the world.