Israel is replacing manned maritime aircraft, which patrol along its
coast, with UAVs. The current patrol force consists of three Seascan aircraft, which are modified versions of the Israeli made
Westwind executive jet. This ten ton aircraft has a seven man crew and is
equipped with a search radar, and can carry missiles. The Seascan has an
endurance of six hours. The 1.1 ton Heron UAV can stay in the air for 30 hours
or more, and has a payload of 500 pounds. This can include a search radar.
Using the Heron, instead of the Seascan, will save a lot of money, and provide
better coverage. The Seascan aircraft have been in service for thirty years,
and are about at the end of their useful lives.