Ten years of Shoval

Issue No. 5 | March 1-15, 2017Photo(s): By iaf.org.il

The Shoval (Heron 1) UAV joined the Israeli Air Force 10 years ago, taking the UAV division a step forward. Since then, it has taken a central role and active part in Israel’s recent military operations and performed various missions.

“The Shoval UAV was a quantum leap in the world of UAVs, like the Baz (F-15) and the Adir (F-35I) in the fighter division”, said Colonel (Res’) Hodi Lahav, who commanded the First UAV Squadron when the Shoval was integrated in 2007.

It performs a large variety of missions such as reconnaissance, location of MIA (Missing in Action) and other operations the UAV division leads in due to its unique characteristics. “We work around the clock”, emphasised Lt Colonel Arik, Commander of the First UAV Squadron. “We perform missions from the strategic level to the routine security level”.

The Shoval can stay in the air for up to 30 hours, an ability that allows it to fly to far places or alternatively fly over a target for long periods of time for the purpose of intelligence gathering. Its single engine is considered especially trustworthy and is characterised by silent activity which contributes to its quiet flight, a clear need when dealing with long range or intelligence missions in which low signature is critical for the success of the mission.