Heron UAV pic 2 248.88.
(photo credit: IAI )
While Israeli soldiers can't fight in the war in
Afghanistan, Israeli drones can. Starting next week, five NATO member
countries will be operating unmanned aerial vehicles produced in the
Jewish state in anti-Taliban operations in the Central Asian country.
week, officials from the German military will arrive to take delivery
of an undisclosed number of Heron UAVs, made by Israel Aerospace
The Heron is a medium altitude long endurance UAV that can
remain airborne for more than 30 hours with a cruising altitude of
30,000 feet, and can carry a payload of 250 kg. It has a wingspan of
16.6 meters, a takeoff weight of 1,200 kg. and an operational range of
several hundred kilometers. It can carry a variety of sensors used for
surveillance and target identification.
Germany is the fifth country to operate Israel Aerospace
Industries UAVs in Afghanistan. In December, the Royal Australian Air
Force took delivery of several Heron systems, joining Spain, France and
Canada that already operate the platform.
Israel is a recognized world leader in the
development of UAVs. In November, the Brazilian government announced
that it was prepared to sign a $350 million deal to purchase Heron UAVs
to patrol its cities and borders, and to provide security for the 2014
Soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
Later this year, Israel Aerospace Industries will hold
demonstrations of the Heron for Panamanian security forces in
conjunction with the US military's Southern Command. The demonstration
in Panama will focus on counter-drug operations, as well as border
May, the Heron underwent a month-long evaluation by the Southern
Command and the Salvadoran military to judge its suitability for
counter-drug missions in Latin America and the Pacific. It was the
first time that the drone, designed for intelligence gathering and
surveillance, was used in such operations.