The drone that penetrated Israeli airspace earlier this month was incapable of transmitting pictures in real time, an American defense source reportedly told Lebanese media Wednesday.
The report in Jamahiriya news, cited by Israel radio, quoted an anonymous source in the Defense Department saying that the UAV that flew over Israel on October 6 could be bought and assembled by anyone at home.
Israel downed the drone over the Yatir forest in the northern Negev, not far from the Dimona nulcear site, after it flew over Israel. Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the flight and reports have emerged that they used it to photograph a number of sensitive Israeli locations.
Unnamed sources told the Sunday Times earlier this week that the drone reportedly transmitted pictures of preparations for a joint Israeli-US military drill, as well as ballistic missile sites, main airfields and, possibly, the nuclear reactor in Dimona.
Israeli reports, by contrast, have indicated that the drone — monitored by the Israel Air Force along its route — was relatively old-fashioned, and incapable of relaying surveillance information back to its senders in real-time.
Amos Gilad, a top aide to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, said last week that the drone had failed to gather any intelligence or damage Israel’s air defense superiority.
A former commander of Israel’s drone unit said it couldn’t have filmed anything that wasn’t already available on Google Earth, despite claims to the contrary by Iran.