Israel develops next-generation UAV, glider bomb

Tuesday, October 09, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The Israeli air force on Monday unveiled its next-generation unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Eitan, which will be the largest operational military UAV when it officially enters service next year.

Speaking to Israel's Ynet news portal, an air force official said the Eitan is the size of a Boeing 737 passenger aircraft and can carrying up to 1 ton of equipment.

Israel has become a global leader in the development of UAVs, with many of its models being purchased by foreign air forces.

Also on Monday, the Jerusalem Post reported on a new Israeli-made precision-guided bomb that has air force officials here very excited.

The "Spice" bomb was described as the most sophisticated weapon in the Israeli air force's operational arsenal.

Instead of relying on satellite-based global positioning systems like traditional precision-guided munitions, the Spice is programmed with digital pictures of its target which it then uses onboard cameras to match to the reality on the ground. The Spice also has no engine, and instead glides to its target, which can be dozens of miles away.

The Spice's long range, lack of an engine and ability to pinpoint its targets without being contacted in flight by satellite make it virtually impossible to detect and deflect.

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