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IAI Searcher serial 725.

Unit History


200 Squadron

(No Nickname Known)
Role: UAV Reconnaissance

200 Squadron is thought to be the shadow designation assigned to the Armee de L'Air F-84Fs of EC 1, deployed to Lod for the duration of the Suez Campaign in 1956.

In 1971 a new 200 sqn was founded, as the first IDF/AF unit to operate Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPV's). These radio controlled drones were used to develop the technology for cheap long-duration tactical reconnaissance. These early RPV's were first used operationally in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. As the electronics technology improved, a degree of autonomous (pre-programmed autopilot) operation could be introduced, and the term UAV (Uninhabited Air Vehicle) replaced 'RPV'. In 1981 the unit began receiving the production version of the first Israeli-designed UAV, the IAI Scout. In 1982 both the Scout and the original drones were used in the Lebanon War, with great success. In 1992 the squadron began receiving a second-generation UAV, the IAI Searcher. The Scout and Searcher were used operationally in 'Operation Accountability' in 1993, and subsequently in 1996 in 'Operation Grapes of Wrath'. The latter operation was marred by an incident involving UAV directed shelling of the United Nations compound in Lebanon. In 1998 the improved Searcher Mk.II began to be delivered. This unit currently operates the Scout and Searcher RPVs and is based at Palmachim.


IAI Searcher Mk.II serial 717.


IAI Scout serial 401.

Air Bases:
Base Duration
Lod (Lydda) Oct 1956-Dec 1956
Palmachim 1971 - Present

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Badge Example Serials
F-84F18Oct - Dec 1956  
Firebee RPV-1971 - 1982?  
IAI Scout UAV-1980 - PresentFig.1401
IAI Searcher UAV-1992 - PresentFig.1725
IAI Searcher Mk.II UAV-1998 - PresentFig.1717

Unit Insignia:
Figure 1



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First Created: 9 January 1998 - Last Revised: 9 October 1999
Copyright © 1998 John Hayles.     e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk