An Israeli-made Heron unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) crashed in Turkey’s mountainous Mardin province, news agencies reported on Thursday.
The aircraft was on a routine reconnaissance flight five kilometers from the Ilisu Damn construction zone, near the village of Temelli.
Exact reason of the crash is unknown at this time, but authorities suspect hardware failure due to cold weather and high operating altitute.
Turkey had purchased 10 Heron UAVs from Israel for $183 million in a 2005 deal with a consortium of the Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems. Delivery of the Heron UAVs were somewhat controversial due to Israel’s long delay in meeting Turkish payload requirements and the growing rift between the two countries due to Israel’s deadly attack on a Turkish peace and humanitarian aid flotilla in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
This constitutes Turkey’s second loss of a Heron system within a short timespan and raises serious questions in regards to its overall reliability.
Israeli-made UAV crashes in Mardin | TRDEFENCE