On August 9, ISIS news agency, Amaq, released photos showing the wreckage of a RQ-20 Puma drone that had recently crashed in the Sinai Peninsula in eastern Egypt.
The drone crashed of unknown reasons to the South of the town of Rabia and to the West of the city of Bir El Abd in the northern part of Sinai.
The RQ-20 Puma is a hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicle that was designed for surveillance and intelligence missions. Egypt purchased an undisclosed number of RQ-20 drones in 2018. The delivery of the systems is set to be completed this year.
The version purchased by Egypt is the RQ-20B AE II, which has an operation range of 20 to 60 km with an endurance of up to 2,5 hours.
Egyptian RQ-20Bs drones are equipped with the Mantis i45 gimbal, lightweight visual sensor, that includes an ultra-high-resolution EO and IR imagers as well as a laser illumination. One of the photos released by Amaq shows an ISIS terrorist attempting to disassemble the sensor.
This was the second RQ-20B drone to crash in Sinai this year. The first drone crashed South of Bir El Abed city last January.
The Egyptian military is relying more and more on manned and unmanned aircrafts to track and fight ISIS cells in Sinai. The terrorists’ fast movement and their good knowledge of desert areas posed a challenge to Egyptian ground forces in the past.