Ger­many to ex­tend Heron con­tract


Is­rael Aerospace In­dus­tries (IAI) Heron sur­veil­lance un­manned aerial sys­tems (UAS) have re­cently reached 30,000 op­er­a­tional flight hours in the Mazar-e-Sharif area, ac­cord­ing to re­ports by the Ger­man Air Force, the Heron op­er­a­tor in Afghanistan.

Heron sys­tems have been ac­tive in Afghanistan since 2010, un­der the IAI Heron leas­ing con­tract signed by the Ger­man De­fence Pro­cure­ment Agency (BAAInBw) and Air­bus DS Air­borne So­lu­tions GmbH, a sub­sidiary of Air­bus De­fence and Space.

This im­por­tant mile­stone demon­strates Heron’s di­verse ca­pa­bil­i­ties in car­ry­ing out op­er­a­tional mis­sions in chal­leng­ing ter­rains. Heron is des­ig­nated for long-term strate­gic and tac­ti­cal tasks and can fly un­der se­vere weather con­di­tions, carry a large num­ber of pay­loads and trans­fer live in­for­ma­tion to forces in the field and de­ci­sion- mak­ers. Dur­ing a num­ber of years of ac­tiv­ity in Afghanistan, Heron has served a va­ri­ety of other NATO al­lies, among them France, Canada and Aus­tralia.

Due to its con­sid­er­able op­er­a­tional suc­cess over the years in Afghanistan, and the Ger­man Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to ex­tend its stay in Afghanistan, an ad­di­tional leas­ing con­tract has been given to the Ger­man mil­i­tary for op­er­at­ing the Heron UAS in Afghanistan for one more year, un­til Fe­bru­ary 2018.

IAI’s Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Man­ager of the Mil­i­tary Air­craft Group, Shaul Shahar, said: “Our con­nec­tion with the Ger­man Air Force is of course highly im­por­tant, and we are proud to con­tinue to pro­vide an op­er­a­tional so­lu­tion to­gether with the ex­cel­lent co­op­er­a­tion we have with Air­bus.” Due to its suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tions in Afghanistan, the Ger­man Air Force is presently op­er­at­ing the Heron in Mali as part of a UN polic­ing mis­sion.

IAI is Is­rael’s largest aerospace and de­fence com­pany and a glob­ally recog­nised tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion leader, spe­cial­is­ing in de­vel­op­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing ad­vanced, state-of-theart sys­tems for air, space, sea, land, cy­ber and home­land se­cu­rity. IAI also de­signs and man­u­fac­tures busi­ness jets and aerostruc­tures, per­forms over­haul and main­te­nance on com­mer­cial air­craft and con­verts pas­sen­ger air­craft to re­fu­elling and cargo con­fig­u­ra­tions.

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