The Israel Air Force has lost an Eitan (Heron TP) drone while performing a test flight with new payloads. The drone was one of the latest built aircraft in the Heron TP series to enter IAF service. It was on loan to IAI for the purpose of the test flights. The unmanned aircraft crashed south of the IAF air base Tel Nof, the home base of the IAF flight test unit.
The IAF new Eitan squadron is the latest UAV unit in IAF service, operating one of the longest reach. According to IAF commander, Maj. General Ido Nehushtan, the drone was on a mission testing new capabilities when the wing broke in flight. He said the mishap will be investigated and whatever needs fixing will be adjusted,” said Nehushtan adding Eitan has a big future with the IAF. “This UAV was conceived 20 years ago, when Israel faced long range missile attacks from Iraq, the development that began then is entering service now, and has a whole future ahead” Nehushtan added.