Friday, February 19, 2010

Israel unveils new drone capable of reaching Iran

Israel has unveiled a new long-range unmanned aerial vehicle, known as Hermes 900, which is capable of reaching Iran.

Designed by Elbit, the Israeli defense electronics manufacturer, the drone is said to boost surveillance and be capable of hitting targets as far as Iran, some 1500 kilometers (950 miles) away.

The new Hermes, an upgraded version of Hermes 450 used during the 2006 war on Lebanon, can stay in the air for 36 hours and can be used for both spying and air strike purposes.

It also uses innovative avionics and can operate silently, which allows for missions over urban areas.

Elbit says the new drone has successfully completed its maiden flight and would enter production after additional flight tests.

Under the allegation that Iran is a "threat" to its existence, Israel, the sole nuclear power in the Middle East, has on several occasions threatened to knock out Iran's nuclear facilities through military action.

Tehran defends its nuclear program as totally peaceful and within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which it is a signatory.

The NPT grants its members the right to develop peaceful nuclear technologies.

Iran has warned Israel of a crushing response if Tel Aviv commits such a stupid mistake of attacking the country.

"One step out of line and Israeli warplanes will be completely destroyed," said Amir Ali Hajizadeh Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force.

"Even if they escape our sophisticated defense system, they will never see their bases again; because our surface-to-surface missiles are on their marks to target Israeli military bases before the dust settles," he added.

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