An Israeli unmanned aircraft (UAV) crashed on Sunday near the Israel-Egypt border. It is believed that a malfunction caused the crash; terrorism is not suspected.
The malfunction in the Hermes 450 aircraft was discovered while it was carrying out an intelligence mission near the border. Military personnel from Israel combed the area where the vehicle came down and found the wreckage. An investigation into the cause of the malfunction has started.
Although no information about the UAV’s mission was released, this type of aircraft is considered to be pivotal in information gathering for the Israeli intelligence services. It captures detailed and clear images of targets with a flying range of hundreds of kilometres.
According to Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, this is not the first time that such a malfunction has occurred in a UAV. In May, a Shoval-type vehicle was shut-down over the sea after a malfunction was discovered in the engine.
Shoval is used by the Israeli army to gather intelligence. It is produced by Israel and it is one of the most developed vehicles in the world. It can operate at a high altitude for 48 hours without the need to refuel and has been bought by many countries, including Turkey and India.
In January last year, an Eitan-type UAV crashed near Hafitz Haim kibbutz in central Israel during a test of new payloads. The Eitan is manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries. It can operate at altitudes above commercial air traffic and features all-weather capability, de-icing systems, automatic takeoff and landing, and triple-redundant avionics.