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IAI Searcher

Israel (1992)

Detailing the development and operational history of the IAI Searcher Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

 Entry last updated on 4/18/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  IAI Searcher  
Picture of IAI Searcher Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The IAI Searcher UAV replaced both the IAI Scout and Tadiran Mastiff UAV types in Israeli Army service.

The Israelis realized the value of drones in warfare before most and developed a very mature industry to fulfill a bevy of running requirements. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has become a major contributor in the field and, beginning in 1992, added the "Searcher" - a reconnaissance-minded Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for scouting and surveillance sorties over friendly and enemy airspace. The type is a conventionally-powered system with a traditional design managing a payload of equipment. The series has spawned the original "Searcher 1" of 1992 which has since been followed by the "Searcher 2" of 1998. Searchers have been sold abroad to a select few allied powers in Asia.

Searcher 2 fields a payload capacity of 150lbs consisting of tracking systems, sensors and camera equipment. Its gross weight is 1,100lbs making it manageable by few personnel on the ground. The airframe maintains a running length of 19 feet, 2 inches with a wingspan measuring 28 feet. Height is listed at 4 feet. The overall design consists of a fuselage nacelle straddled by a pair of high-mounted straight wing assemblies at midships. Two thin tubular booms emanate from the trailing edge of the wings and connect at a horizontal assembly to which a pair of vertical fins are situated. The nose is well-sloped for aerodynamic efficiency. The drone is powered by a single Limbach L550 series engine of 47 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller assembly fitting to the rear of the fuselage in a "pusher" configuration. Performance specifications include a top speed of 125 miles per hour, an operating service ceiling of 20,000 feet and a mission endurance time of eighteen hours. The undercarriage is fixed in position and consists of a single-wheeled nose leg and a pair of single-wheeled main legs.

The Searcher series is in use with the forces of Israel, India, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Turkey. They have been seen in the standard light sky gray finish and a desert-minded camouflage scheme.
Any available statistics for the IAI Searcher Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).
IAI Searcher Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Year: 1992
Type: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Manufacturer(s): Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) - Israel
Production: 200
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 0
Length: 19.19 ft (5.85 m)
Width: 28.02 ft (8.54 m)
Height: 4.10 ft (1.25 m)
Empty Weight: 772 lb (350 kg)
MTOW: 1,102 lb (500 kg)

Installed Power
1 x Limbach L550 engine of 47 horsepower.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 124 mph (200 kph; 108 kts)
Service Ceiling: 20,013 ft (6,100 m; 3.79 mi)

None. Payload consists of optics and sensors.

Operators List
India; Israel; South Korea; Singapore; Thailand; Turkey

Series Model Variants
• Searcher - Base Series Designation
• Searcher Mk I - First Generation Model of 1992
• Searcher Mk II - Improved Second Generation Model of 1998.
• Searcher Mk III - Updated Searcher UAV platform