Indian Navy loses second IAI Heron UAV in a month

An Indian Navy IAI Heron surveillance UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) crashed during a routine reconnaissance mission over the western coast of the country.

The UAV crashed at around 1258 hours approx 20 Nm south east of coastal Porbandar in Gujarat state.

This is second Indian Navy Heron lost in a month from the same air base, after the March 24 incident in which a Heron crashed shortly after take off.

Indian Navy acquired an unspecified no of Searcher Mk II and the larger and more capable Heron from IAI Malat in Dec 2002.

The IAI Heron (Machatz-1) is a medium-altitude long-endurance UAV developed by the Malat (UAV) division of Israel Aerospace Industries.

It has a operational Speed of 130 mph, service ceiling of 32,800 ft and flight range of 217 mile.

With a max take off weight of  1,150 kg (2,530 lb), Heron is powered by a single Rotax 914 piston engine rated at 86 kW (115 hp) in pusher configuration.