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Iran continues to develop an armed UAV, another step in establishing its long range attack capabilities. The UAV, called “RAAD” was disclosed last year in the presence of Iranian leadership chiefs. “As a matter of fact, this is a cruise missile with a range of 1000 km”, says an Israeli expert.
Israeli experts who watched photographs of the UAV say it is a jet airplane based on some existing systems. It seems that the UAV can bear under its “belly” a normal iron bomb or a guided one. According to the UAV size and shape of its gas tank, it seems that the UAV carries a bomb of 250 kg, and has a range of about 1000 km. “With such an operating range this UAV cannot get to Israel, but if the bomb size is decreased, the range will increase. The Iranians undoubtedly made a step forward in their ability to send munitions to large distances and precisely” said the expert.
Iran started developing UAVs already ten years ago. Such an UAV, “Ababil” flew from Lebanon to the north of Israel and was intercepted by the Israeli Air Force. The first models, including “Ababil”, were basic ones, practically motorized model airplanes.
But the Iranians invested a large effort for development of advanced UAVs, and they did so also in this case using knowhow acquired from abroad, mainly by using straw companies operating mainly in Europe.
Israel knew about the Iranian plans of developing an “attacking” UAV, and it seems that today the Revolution Guards have more than one model of such UAV.