From here, the sky is the limit
“Prepared for takeoff in several minutes. Roger that”
The IAI Heron-1 Takes Off for a Mission
After finishing the UAV operator course, graduates are positioned at the various formations. Nowadays, they continue the training and qualification process before they handle significant operational missions, manage intelligence takeoffs and assist infantry forces. We joined one of the graduating UAV operators, Second Lieutenant R’, who recently arrived at the ‘first UAV’ Squadron on his test flight with the ‘Heron’.
“Ready in a few. Roger”, says Major Shay, deputy commander of the formation, in the communication device. The brief sentence is followed by a row of preparations which crystallizes the complicated work around the control car, in which all the magic happens. Second Lieutenant R’, a new UAV operator who graduated from his qualification course only ten days ago, has already been asked to demonstrate his abilities out on the field.
In the control car, Second Lieutenant R’ goes through all the instructions and essential checks in a flawless manner before taking off–proving that he is perfectly familiar with the information. On the computer screen in front of him, all types of Israeli maps are shown, each sketching out ground routes, occurrence scenes, weather conditions and Israeli settlements.
After a successful takeoff, R’ controls the flight with a joystick–just like working a ‘playstation’, only that this is not a game. Through the camera placed on the back of the UAV, you can follow the Heron’s movement and actions and at the same time identify it as a small dot on the computer screens. Without a doubt, it is safe to say that the UAV formations’ operations are of increasing importance and significance. For them, the sky is the limit.