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IAI RQ-2 Pioneer

Israel (1986)
Picture of IAI RQ-2 Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The RQ-2 Pioneer truly lived up to her namesake in the realm of UAV technology, seeing action beginning with the Persian Gulf War of 1991.


Detailing the development and operational history of the IAI RQ-2 Pioneer Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  Entry last updated on 6/16/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The RQ-2 Pioneer series of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) was one of the first operational UAVs utilized by the United States military. It initially served aboard surface naval warships as an artillery tool before eventually being devoted wholly to aerial observation of the battlefield overland. Though not as flashy or powerful as the new generation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the Pioneer was truly just that, a pioneering vehicle that laid down the foundation for an entire UAV family of aircraft that presently serve with the United States military.

Design of the RQ-2 produced an aircraft-like aerodynamic fuselage with equipment mounted at front and the single Sachs 2-stroke, 2-cylinder 26 horsepower gasoline piston engine at rear. Wings were mounted high and to the rear of the fuselage and were of a straight edge variety and supported underneath by struts. Twin booms extended aft and were joined by a horizontal plane with twin vertical fins rounding out the empennage. The undercarriage was statically deployed.
The Pioneer developed from a joint agreement between Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and AAI Corporation. The system was designed form the outset to perform a variety of unarmed battlefield surveillance and reconnaissance roles and could be launched from land (via catapult or runway) or at sea (via catapult or rocket assist) returning to vessels by way of net or arrestor hook. Flying times varied depending on the overall payload weight but several hours could be achieved. The strength in the Pioneer system lay in its ability to relay real-time information through analog video by way of a line-of-sight (LOS) data link. The RQ-2 Pioneer system was put into action in the Persian Gulf War of 1991, Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq under the operational US branches of the Army, Navy and Marines. It also saw service with forces sponsored by Israel and Singapore.






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 Rating
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (124mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 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 IAI RQ-2 Pioneer'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 Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
20
20


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Israel
Year: 1986
Type: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Manufacturer(s): AAI Corporation - USA / Pioneer UAVs, Incorporated / Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) - Israel
Production: 20
Global Operators:
Israel; Singapore; United States
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 IAI RQ-2 Pioneer model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
13.12 ft


Meters
4 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
17.06 ft


Meters
5.2 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
3.28 ft


Meters
1 m


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
452 lb


Kilograms
205 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Sachs 2-stroke, 2-cylinder gasoline piston engine developing 26 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
124 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
200 kph


Knots
108 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
115 mi


Kilometers
185 km


Nautical Miles
100 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
15,092 ft


Meters
4,600 m


Miles
2.86 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• RQ-2 - Base Series Designation