NOVA/PBS NOVAPBS
Firebee 1241 (Israel)
Impressed by America's AQM-34 Ryan Firebee UAV, Israel secretly purchased 12 Firebees from the U.S. in 1970, modified them, and designated them Firebee 1241 UAVs. These Firebee 1241s played an important role in the 1973 Yom Kippur War between Israel, Egypt, and Syria, both as reconnaissance vehicles and as new kinds of UAVs: decoys. On the second day of the war the Israeli Air Force deployed their fleet of armed Firebees to lead attacks against Egyptian air defenses along the Suez. The Egyptians fired their entire inventory of surface-to-air missiles at the Firebees—43 missiles in all. The Firebees successfully evaded 32 of the missiles and destroyed 11 with their Shrike anti-radar missiles.

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