The Israeli military has been developing a drone the size of a
737, and a range which could allow it to reach Iran without
refueling. On Sunday, during what was described as a routine
experimental flight, the Heron TP UAV crashed in central Israel,
according to the the Associated Press.
With a wingspan of 86 feet, the Heron TP is thought to be
capable of use in surveillance, communications relay and jamming.
It is not known whether the craft as the capability to carry or
deploy munitions. The website for Israel Aerospace Industries, the
drone's maker, describes the aircraft only as "a multi-purpose,
multi-system platform to address local and international customers'
needs and to perform a variety of strategic missions with a high
level of reliability."
The AP reports the drone figures to be featured prominently in
any potential Israeli operation against Iran and its expanding
nuclear program. Israel has been very public about its
deliberations over the timing of such a strike, as Iran continues
to report success in a nuclear fuel-enrichment program which has
drawn international sanctions.