Israel makes missile UAV to reach Iran
File photo of an Israeli Heron TP UAV
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) plans to begin operating an unmanned intelligence-gathering aerial vehicle with the ability to launch missiles that could 'fly as far as Iran', a report says.
Manufacturing the Heron TP, which in Israel is often referred to as the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) "that can reach Iran," began in 2010 by Israel Aerospace Industries, the Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
The IAF's largest UAV can fly for up to 45 hours, carry 1,000 kg payload and has the ability to launch missiles.
Amid the West's standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, both Tel Aviv and Washington have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike.
During a visit to the US in 2010, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded Washington launch a military attack against Tehran's nuclear program, saying that a "credible military threat by the United States is the only way to deter Iran."
Netanyahu's call, however, was rejected by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
In May, a source close to prominent Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said Israeli jet fighters had conducted drills at a military base in Iraq in order to strike targets inside Iran.
According to the report, a considerable number of Israeli warplanes, including F-15, F-16, F-18, F-22, and KC-10 jet fighters, were seen at al-Asad Airbase -- the second largest US military airbase in Iraq located in Anbar Province.
The report said that Iraqi officials had not been notified about the drills conducted in collaboration with the US military.
Iranian officials have stressed that any act of aggression by the US and Israel against Iran's nuclear facilities would meet a crushing response. They have repeatedly warned that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.
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