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Mirsad-1
Role Reconnaissance drone
National origin Disputed, see article text
Manufacturer Disputed, see article text

The Mirsad-1 (Arabic: مرصاد, English: "Observation post") is a small reconnaissance drone operated by the Lebanese Shiia Paramilitary group Hezbollah. The group has also claimed that it can arm the aircraft with explosives to attack Israeli targets.

The origin of the aircraft is disputed. Hezbollah claims to have developed the aircraft themselves, whereas some reports state that Hezbollah acquired up to eight UAV aircraft from Iran, and the Mirsad has been reported to be a version of either the Iranian Mohajer 4 or the Ababil (although the latter is unlikely, as it is a canard-configured aircraft, whereas Hezbollah video images show a twin-boom configuration). These reports state that up to 30 Hezbollah personnel also received training on operating the aircraft at the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' bases near Isfahan.[1] Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has boasted about acquiring the drones, saying that the drone "can be laden with a quantity of explosives of up to 40 to 50 kilograms" and can reach "anywhere, deep, deep" into Israel.[2]

The first Hezbollah flight into Israeli airspace occurred mid-morning on November 7, 2004. It flew at low level from Lebanon south over the western Galilee town of Nahariya, then turned and flew back north, over the Mediterranean sea, having spent up to half an hour in Israeli airspace.[3]

The second flight took place on April 11, 2005, and was a short, 18 mile incursion. The drone had recrossed into Lebanese territory by the time Israeli fighters could be scrambled to intercept.[4] [5]

Specifications (approximate)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: None
  • Length: 2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)
  • Powerplant: 1 × piston engine, 8 kW (10 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 120 km/h (75 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 2,000 m (6,600 ft)

Armament

  • up to 50 kg (110 lb) of explosives

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.armscontrol.ru/UAV/mirsad1.htm Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology Center for Arms Control Energy and Environmental Studies report
  2. ^ Source of Nasrallah quote
  3. ^ http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/87DC1342-0728-47CA-8EA8-CDE0F3E2CB20.htm Aljazeera news report November 8, 2004
  4. ^ Defense Industry Daily
  5. ^ Yahoo!News article (Link dead as of 14 January 2007)



Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirsad-1 — Please support Wikipedia.
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