In late July, the Libyan National Army (LNA) shot down two Israeli-made Orbiter-3 tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which were supposedly being operated by forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA).
The two UAV’s were reportedly shot down near the town of al-ʿAziziyah south of the country’s capital, Tripoli, and over the coastal city of Sidra.
The origin of the Orbiter-3s remained a mystery until the Jerusalem Post revealed on August 7 that the UAVs were part of a three-unit donated by Turkey to pro-GNA forces.
The Orbitar-3, manufactured by Israel’s Aeronautics, has an endurance of around 7 hours and an operational range of up to 150km. The UAV was specially designed to carry out close-range intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.
The U.N. imposed an arms embargo on Libya in 2011. Turkey is apparently bypassing this blockade by simply “donating” advanced weapons system to its allies in the GNA.