UAVs Used in Sudan Convoy Attack

Israel used UAVs to attack three convoys carrying Iranian Fajr-3 missiles in Sudan which were headed for Gaza, according to the London Times.

Yehudah Lev Kay ,

Israel News Photo

The London Sunday Times reported that the Israeli Air Force used Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) to carry out strikes on three Sudanese convoys carrying Iranian missiles destined for Hamas in Gaza. Sources also said that the convoys carried Fajr-3 missiles which have a range of 43 kilometers, capable of reaching Yavneh and Be’er Sheva.

According to “western diplomats”, Israel used Hermes 450 drones to carry out the attack. The planes, which operate out of the Palmachim air force base south of Tel Aviv, can remain in the air for 20 hours and fire two Hellfire missiles at ground targets. Some sources also claimed that Israel used the new Eitan UAV in the attack, which have a wingspan of 85 feet, comparable to that of a Boeing 737, and can remain in the air for 36 hours.

Defense sources told The Times that unmanned drones were used because of the nature of the targets. Whereas manned bombers could be used to attack a fixed target, UAVs are the ideal choice for a strike on a moving convoy. The drones can hover high in the air undetected for a long period of time until the ideal moment for an attack arrives.

The military sources also reported that the convoy was carrying an unspecified number of Iranian Fajr-3 missiles. “They build the Fajr in parts so it would be easy to smuggle them into Gaza, then reassemble them with Hamas experts who learned the job in Syrian and Iran,” one source said. Although the sources told The Times that the missiles could hit Tel Aviv and Israel’s nuclear facility in Dimona, traditional Fajr-3 missiles have an operational range of 43 kilometers, which would only reach as far north as Yavneh and as far east as Be’er Sheva.

CBS News first reported on the aerial strikes last week after which ABC News reported that Israel had carried out three separate strikes in January and February against missile convoys in Sudan which were headed for Gaza. The reports indicated that 39 people were killed in the attacks. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted that Israel was indeed responsible for the bombings when he stated, “We operate in every area where terrorist infrastructures can be struck,” and added, “There is no point in elaborating. Everyone can use their imagination. Whoever needs to know, knows.”