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Israel’s Flagship UAV Crashes on Test Flight

The crash of the Israeli Air Force’s most advanced unmanned aerial vehicle on a test flight drew wide media coverage. The Heron TP UAV reportedly went out of control while it performed an extreme maneuver that caused one of its wings to break off. Had the aircraft not crashed near a major highway it is doubtful that it would have been reported. The giant drone, which as the same wingspan as a Boeing 737, care stay airborne for 45 hours and is said to be able to reach Iran with a 1,000 kilogram (1.1-ton) payload (bomb). It only entered service in 2010. The Israeli media played up the crash, saying that the crash gave rare exposure to one of the country’s most strategic weapons. Yediot Ahronot devoted an editorial to it saying the turboprop Heron was a “multi-purpose workhorse” and it was no wonder that “more than a few countries including the great powers are taking an interest in it.”