IAI Searcher in Tel Nof Airbase, Israel
Role Reconnaissance UAV
National origin Israel
Manufacturer IAI
Introduction • Searcher 1 - 1992[1]

• Searcher 2 - 1998[1]

The IAI Searcher (also known by the Hebrew name מרומית Meyromit - "Marsh tern",[2] or officially in Israel as the חוגלה Hugla - "Alectoris") is a reconnaissance UAV developed in Israel in the 1980s. In the following decade, it replaced the IMI Mastiff and IAI Scout UAVs then in service with the Israeli Army.


The Searcher MK-II (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) passes through the Rajpath during the 58th Republic Day Parade - 2007, in New Delhi on January 26, 2007

The Searcher looks almost identical to the Scout and Pioneer, but is in fact scaled up and is well over twice the size of the Scout. The Searcher is powered by a 35 kW (47 hp) piston engine. The new design features updated avionics and sensor systems with greater flight endurance as well as increased redundancy for improved survivability. In addition to Israel, the system had been exported and is or was in use by Singapore[3] and Turkey,[4] as well as Thailand, Russia, India, South Korea, and Sri Lanka.[citation needed]

Operational deployment

More than 100 Searcher IIs are being operated by the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.

It took part in the large-scale Russian-Belarusian exercise Zapad in September 2021.[5]

On March 13, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Defence released video of the use of the updated Russian version in Ukraine.[6]


10 June 2002 – Searcher Mark-II, operated by Indian Air Force for reconnaissance, was shot down by a Pakistan Air Force F-16B using AIM-9L Sidewinder at an altitude of 13,000 ft, after it was spotted by the mobile observation units.[7]

11 July 2018 – A Russian "Forpost" UAV was found on 12 July in a field close to the village of Barqah, about 12 kilometres from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights (Syria) but none of the belligerents claimed the shot-down nor the loss.[8][9]

On 11 March 2022, a Russian "Forpost" UAV was shot down in Zhitomir Oblast.[10]


A Republic of Singapore Air Force's IAI Searcher II at Henry Post Army Airfield (Fort Sill, Oklahoma).
Russian Forpost.


The IAI Searcher II
A Spanish IAI Searcher Mk.II-J

Searcher II MK3

Data from IAI Searcher II MK3[23]

General characteristics



The Forpost-R is the designation for the Russian developed UCAV based on the IAI Searcher. In 2008, Russia had approached Israel to import drones following the Russo-Georgian War, with Israel refusing to provide armed drones, an agreement was made to provide IAI Searchers MKII.[24][25][26]

According to a YouTube video and information published by the Russian Ministry of Defense on March 13, 2022, Russian armed forces have used an armed version of the Forpost-R Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to destroy a multiple launch rocket system from the Ukrainian army from an altitude of 3,000 m using guided missiles.[27]

Armaments (Forpost-R)

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era


  1. ^ a b "אתר צה"ל - צבא ההגנה לישראל : 40 שנה להקמת טייסת המל"טים הראשונה בחיל האוויר". 4 March 2016. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Jane's Information Group". Archived from the original on 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  3. ^ "Hermes 450". Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  4. ^ "Israel to deliver two UAVs to Turkey in late November". Archived from the original on 8 June 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Strike drones, Terminator tank support vehicles assist in offensive at Zapad-2021 drill".
  6. ^ Miko Vranic. (15 March 2022). "Ukraine conflict: Russia employs Forpost-R UCAV". Jane's website Retrieved 18 March 2022.
  7. ^ "Spy plane an evidence of Indo-Israeli collaboration: PAF". 11 June 2002.
  8. ^ "A rebel fighter inspects what purportedly are the remains of a Syrian".
  9. ^ "A rebel fighter walks near what purportedly are the remains of A".
  10. ^ "В Житомирской области был сбит российский беспилотник "Форпост". ФОТО". Zhitomir Online (in Ukrainian). 11 March 2022.
  11. ^ "List of ammunition purchased by Azerbaijan made public". News.Az. 2012-03-27. Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  12. ^ "UAVS AND UCAVS: DEVELOPMENTS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION – Appendix III, Table 1". Retrieved 2013-01-01.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Russian Force Practice Flying Forpost, Orlan-10 Drones In Tajikistan". 18 June 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-08-05. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  14. ^ "Russian Navy to Use UAV for Cruise and Anti-ship Missile Targeting". Archived from the original on 2018-08-22. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  15. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / Олег Салюков в интервью "МК": в этом году соединения и воинские части СВ получат более 2500 новых основных образцов ВВСТ". Archived from the original on 2018-10-01. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  16. ^ "Russian naval aviation armed with drones (Part 1)".
  17. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / Юрий Борисов: комплекс с БЛА "Форпост" с 2019 года будет производиться со 100-процентной локализацией". Archived from the original on 2017-12-26. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  18. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Russia's New Forpost-R Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) : First Flight - Novo Drone Russo Forpost-R". YouTube.
  19. ^ "Janes | Latest defence and security news".
  20. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / Сергей Шойгу: боевые возможности российской армии возросли на 13% в 2020 году".
  21. ^ "Russia's top brass signs a host of deals on advanced weapons delivery to Russian troops".
  22. ^ "คณะเจ้าหน้าที่ของกองทัพเรือ เยี่ยมชมสาธิตการบิน UAV แบบ Searcher II ของกองทัพบก". Archived from the original on 2021-02-27. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  23. ^ "Surveillance aircraft: the Searcher MK III a tactical UAS". Archived from the original on 2020-04-14.
  24. ^ "UAV Forpost to Change Israeli Payload for Russian Systems".
  25. ^ In 2012 a license was granted to Russia to produce the Searcher Mk II and light Bird Eye 400 domestically in Russia, with the designations changing to Forpost and Zastava respectively. Due to sanctions, in 2016 the licensing was revoked, and Israel stopped supplying parts. Russia continued its development domestically, under the name Forpost-R to produce an armed version capable of carrying armaments.
  26. ^ a b "Ukraine conflict: Russia employs Forpost-R UCAV". Archived from the original on 2022-03-15.
  27. ^ "Russia uses Forpost-R armed drone with guided missile to destroy rocket launcher of Ukrainian army | Ukraine - Russia conflict war 2022 | analysis focus army defence military industry army".
  28. ^ "Russia uses Forpost-R armed drone with guided missile to destroy rocket launcher of Ukrainian army". Archived from the original on 2022-03-20.

This article contains material that originally came from the web article Unmanned Aerial Vehicles by Greg Goebel, which exists in the Public Domain.