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HESA Shahed-129 (Eye-Witness)

Medium-Altitude, Long-Endurance (MALE) Reconnaissance / Light Attack Drone

OVERVIEW
HISTORY
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
DATA
Overview



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



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 5/21/2019. 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 (and based in the earlier "Shahed-123" which became a redesignation of the "HESA-100"). 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.




Specifications

YEAR: 2012
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA) / Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center - Iran
PRODUCTION: 100
CREW: 0
LENGTH: 19.69 ft (6 m)
WIDTH: 34.45 ft (10.5 m)
MTOW: 2,183 lb (990 kg)
POWER: 1 x Conventional engine driving three-bladed propeller in pusher configuration.
SPEED: 109 mph (175 kph; 94 kts)
CEILING: 17,995 feet (5,485 m; 3.41 miles)
RANGE: 186 miles (300 km; 162 nm)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 900 ft/min (274 m/min)
OPERATORS: Iran; Syria
Armament



OPTIONAL:
4 x Air-to-surface missiles held underwing (two missiles per hardpoint).
Variants / Models



• Shahed-129 - Base Series Designation.
• Shahed-123 - Original design on which the Model 129 is based on.








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.

Image of collection of graph types

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

Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the HESA Shahed-129's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (100)
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
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
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 pioneering aircraft
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 representing modern aircraft
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 War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.




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