The Armed Forces of Malta has carried out the first test flight of a surveillance drone that is expected to significantly boost its air division’s capabilities.
The test flight is understood to have taken place in the early hours of Friday morning.
A post uploaded to the aviation website Malta Aviation Outlook yesterday stated that the website was “reliably informed that in a hangar close to Apron 5, an IAI Heron system has been assembled and partially tested”.
“As a matter of fact, its transponder which was showing the Israeli registration 4X- up to some weeks ago, has now changed to AS2132. This is the serial number which the unmanned system is likely to get once integrated within the AFM Air Wing,” the post reads.
The IAI Heron, it said, would bring a “quantum leap in capabilities when compared to current Air Wing assets”.
According to the website, the IAI Heron is able to stay in the air for more than 50 hours, and is used by “a number of Air Forces, including the Indian and Turkish Air Forces”.
It isn’t as yet clear what the unmanned aircraft will be used for, though it is understood that it will be used mainly for the surveillance of Maltese territorial waters.
Lovin Malta has reached out to the Home Affairs Ministry but has not yet received a reply.
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