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HESA Shahed 129 (Eye-Witness)

Iran (2012)
Picture of HESA Shahed 129 (Eye-Witness) Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Reconnaissance / Light Attack Drone

The HESA Shahed 129 reconnaissance Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle was introduced by Iran during 2012 and is in operational service today.


Detailing the development and operational history of the HESA Shahed 129 (Eye-Witness) Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Reconnaissance / Light Attack Drone.  Entry last updated on 11/18/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Iranian industry has been actively involved in development of drone aircraft for some time now - reengineering foreign types as well as evolving all-new indigenous designs with mixed levels of success. The HESA Shahed 129 series is a dual-role platform capable of reconnaissance work and attack. It was developed by the Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center of Iran with production handled by HESA. It appeared during September 2012, remains in active production and may have been procured by the Syrian government for its long-running civil war campaign begun in 2011. The Shahed 129 was debuted in mid-2012.

Externally, the Shahed 129 seems to mimic the form of foreign types like the Israeli Hermes 450 and British Watchkeeper UAVs and can be assumed to offer similar over-battlefield capabilities. A tubular fuselage is used to house the engine, fuel stores, avionics and reconnaissance-minded mission payload. A "blister" assembly housing the primary optics fit is set under the aircraft, aft of the nose section, offering unobstructed 360-degree views. The wings are shoulder-mounted along the fuselage sides and of a straight design with each supporting a single hardpoint. The hardpoints hold a twin-rail launcher to carry up to two Sadid-1 missiles each - giving the Shahed 129 a four-shot capability. The undercarriage is wheeled though fixed in place during flight (as in the American Predator). The tail is made up of two outward-canted vertical fins and the engine drives a three-bladed unit in a "pusher" configuration at rear. The air scoop is noted under the tail.
In practice, the Shahed 129 relies on a Ground Control Station (GCS) for direct-control flying but can also take on pre-set waypoint travel through autonomous flight. Range is limited by the communications technology in play but enough to provide a useful patrolling capability for the Iranian Army and Navy services. Its dual-role (reconnaissance and attack) design allows for active patrolling of a given area and direct- attack capability from a single platform. Missile attacks can focus on land-based targets (such as vehicles and fortifications) as well as sea-borne ones like enemy patrol ships - the latter crucial for maintaining control over Persian Gulf water routes. These traits are all very conventional for a UAV/UCAV of this class.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (109mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the HESA Shahed 129's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
100
100


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: Iran
Year: 2012
Type: Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Reconnaissance / Light Attack Drone
Manufacturer(s): Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA) / Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center - Iran
Production: 100
Status: Active, In-Service
Global Operators:
Iran; Syria
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the HESA Shahed 129 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
19.69 ft


Meters
6 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
34.45 ft


Meters
10.5 m


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,183 lb


Kilograms
990 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Conventional engine driving three-bladed propeller in pusher configuration.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
109 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
175 kph


Knots
94 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
186 mi


Kilometers
300 km


Nautical Miles
162 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
17,995 ft


Meters
5,485 m


Miles
3.41 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
900 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
274 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Armament - Hardpoints (2):

OPTIONAL:
4 x Air-to-surface missiles held underwing (two missiles per hardpoint).
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Shahed 129 - Base Series Designation