Drones Grounded After Malfunction

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -
The Israeli army’s Heron, an unmanned drone aircraft for surveillance missions. (AP Photo)
The Israeli army’s Heron, an unmanned drone aircraft for surveillance missions. (AP Photo)

The Israeli Air Force has grounded a fleet of high altitude surveillance drones after one was downed over the Mediterranean Sea.

The military says it intentionally crashed the unmanned aircraft over the weekend because of a malfunction.

The IAF would not say how many aircraft were grounded. The planes will stay down during an investigation.

An Israeli defense official said the drone was the Israeli-made Heron 1, which flies at high altitudes and can stay in the air for about 45 hours. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.

Last year, a larger Heron TP drone crashed on a routine flight.