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7/29/2017 Defense Update - News Analysis by David Eshel: Israel Intercept Two Attack UAV Launched by Hezbollah

Defense Update - News Analysis by David Eshel

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Responding to the rapid pace of new


Monday, August 07, 2006 developments in Mid-East defense,
http://www.defense-update.com is
Israel Intercept Two Attack UAV Launched by Hezbollah introducing a news commentary
section, written and edited by Lt. Col
(Ret.) David Eshel, an IDF veteran and
experienced writer in the world's
leading defense publications for many
years. Readers who would like to
write, suggest or comment on issues
covered in this column are invited to
contact us. (email to: editor@defense-
update.com)

Previous

Updated Aug. 14, 2006: Merkava Mk4 Tanks Endure AT


missile Attacks
IAF Investigates Cause of Israeli
Two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) launched by Hezbollah against
AH-64 Helicopter Losses
Israel August 13, 2006 were downed by Israel. Some 30 kilograms of
Israelis use Fuel-Air Explosives for
explosives were found at the site where one of the UAVs crashed in IED and mine clearing in Lebanon
Northern Israel. One of the UAVs was downed in Lebanese area, and Summary of Israeli Air Force Strikes
crashed near the city of Tyre, on the Lebanese Mediterranean coast. -12-21 July 2006
The other managed to penetrate Israel and was intercepted and Iranian Support for Hizbolla
downed by Israel, and crashed over the western Israeli coastal plain, INS Hanit Suffers Iranian Missile
Attack
near the Israeli-Lebanese border.
Increasing Importance of Jordan Rift
Buffer
Few days ago, another UAV tried to penetrate the Israeli airspace. An Hamas Activists, Weapons Siezed in
Iranian made Ababil unmanned aerial vehicle launched by the Jordan
Hezbollah was intercepted tonight (July 7th, 2006) off the Israeli Thermobaric Explosives - the Perfect
coast over the Mediterranean Sea. The UAV was detected by Israel Weapon for Urban Terrorists
Air Force air defense radars as it was launched by Hezbollah from Is al Qaeda joining the Intifada?

Lebanon. After crossing the international border, it continued south


toward the center of Israel, and was intercepted at a very low
altitude, and low speed (about 70 kt) about 10 kilometers from the
coastline, over the Haifa bay by Israel Air Force F-16C jet. In a video
which recorded a live FLIR image taken by a UAV flying above the
scene, the F-16 (the bright dot at the upper center) is shown
identifying the Ababil target, then firing an air-to-air missile which
clears the jet in a streight flight, then makes a sharp right turn and
hits the UAV (marked with a circle). After the event, as the Ababil
wreckage was salvaged Hezbollah markings are clearly seen (picture
below).

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7/29/2017 Defense Update - News Analysis by David Eshel: Israel Intercept Two Attack UAV Launched by Hezbollah

This is the third time Hezbollah is flying UAVs over Israel. In past
incursions the Hezbollah used an Iranian twin-tail delta winged UAV
they called Mersed 1; the current vehicle is also believed to be of the
same type. The first two attempts flown in 2005 lasted about 10 - 18
minutes, where Hezbollah successfully flew the UAVs over the Israeli
border and northern towns, challenging the Israeli defenses which did
not respond effectively. This time, the UAV managed to remain
airborne for about 10 minutes, as the Israelis were prepared and
intercepted the vehicle before it penetrated Israeli airspace.

Endorsing the Hezbollah UAV capability, Hezbollah secretary general


Hassan Nasrallah claimed in a speach in April 2005 that these
unmanned vehicles can be packed with 40-50 kg of explosives to
attack priority targets deep inside Israel. However, according to the
the IAF Chief of operations, the UAV was not armed. Nevertheless,
the Israelis scrambled their interceptors to maintain combat air
patrols throughout the night, to repel potential attacks by armed
UAVs. Hezbollah can use armed UAVs to offset its limited deep strike
capability originally maintained by Iranian controlled Zelzal missiles,
most of which are believed to have been destroyed by IAF attacks
during the first week of the war.

The Hezbollah conducts extensive intelligence gathering activity to


improve its capability to target sensitive Israeli sites, utilizing signals
intelligence (SIGINT), long range observations conducted by its own
forces, as well as utilizing intelligence support and weather forecasts
(required for accurate aiming of its medium range rockets) provided
by Syria. Target analysis, including coordinates gathering has been
dramatically improved in recent months, as a significant part of Israel
was included in "Google Earth" service, offering everyone a free
access to relatively high resolution satellite images of Israel, provided
with fairly accurate GPS coordinates which are accurate enough to
support the aiming of rocket attacks.

Photos & Video: Israel AIr Force.

posted by Editor at 6:37 PM

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