Israel and Jordan have inked a deal for Jerusalem to supply the Hashemite Kingdom with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to combat Da’esh (ISIS).
The announcement is a sign of increased cooperation between the two countries in the face of a common enemy. Last month it became known that Israel supplied Jordan with 16 Bell AH-1E/F Cobras it had previously retired from service.
Images seen online on August 13 also showed Royal Jordanian Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons parked next to Israeli Air Force Boeing F-151 Eagle (Ra’am) fighters at Lajes Field in the Azores on their way to the United States for joint exercises, accompanied by a group of Israeli Air Force KC-707 fuel tankers.
The Heron TP strategic UAV produced by Israel Aerospace Industries and the Elbit Systems Skylark tactical UAV are reportedly needed to support Jordanian special ground forces as they do battle with Da’esh (ISIS) in Iraq, according to Jane’s. The terrorist group seized control over the sole crossing on Jordan’s common border with Iraq a year ago.
A total of 12 drones of both types are to be delivered to Jordan, the DEBKAfile website reported, although there has been no confirmation of the claim. Elbit denied the report, according to Jane’s.
The Heron TP is the largest and most sophisticated UAV in service since entering the IDF in 2010. The drone can fly to an altitude of 45,000 feet and stay there for up to 40 hours if necessary.
Recently the drone has been approved to carry the IAI (Tamam) M-19HD electro-optical sensor turret which includes zoom and spotter high-definition (HD) day cameras, an HD infrared (IR) zoom camera; laser designator; laser rangefinder; laser pointer, near-IR laser illuminator; electron-multiplied charge-coupled device (CCD) camera; and short-wave IR camera.