The Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah was said to have expanded its fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Israeli military sources said Hizbullah has been receiving combat and other UAVs from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. They said the major element of the fleet consisted of the Ababil, which could be equipped with an explosive payload of 40 kilograms.

“These could be significant weapons in any future war,” a military source said.

The sources estimated that Hizbullah could amass a fleet of up 50 UAVs. They said most of the unmanned platforms were designed to conduct both reconnaissance as well as combat missions.

“Hizbullah has been trained to operate and maintain the UAVs,” the source said.

Hizbullah, which received the first UAV in 2002, first deployed Ababil during the war with Israel in 2006. The sources said IRGC trained Hizbullah to operate a formation of UAVs to conduct simultaneous and multiple missions inside Israel.

“It takes a short time to master and its loss doesn’t not involve sacrificing human lives,” an Israeli source told the Yediot Aharonot daily on April 27. “Another advantage for them is that it’s a very small aircraft that’s hard to detect and shoot down”

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