Israel’s Ministry of Defense this week announced that test flights have begun for its new Oron surveillance aircraft.
The aircraft was developed jointly by the Ministry of Defense’s research and development arm, Israeli Aerospace Industry’s Elta subsidiary, the Israel Air Force, Intelligence Corps and the Navy. It is equipped with sensors and C4I systems.
The aircraft is designed to track multiple targets.
The Oron, dubbed the MARS2 or Multi-Mission Airborne Reconnaissance and Surveillance System at Elta, was first disclosed in April 2021. It was characterized by the air force as a “first-of-its-kind model designated for target-gathering, classification and guiding weapons in all theaters.”
Once operational, the aircraft will serve with the 122nd squadron, which is called Nachshon in Israel. The squadron was established in 1971 and has changed roles over the years from transport aircraft and aircraft used for special operations to the use of the latest ISR aircraft. Their hangers already hold modified Gulfstream G-500 Shavit and G-550 Eitam.