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Heron TP flies over Germany for the first time

15th May 2024 - 18:02 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


German Heron TP UAS taking off for its first flight over Germany. (Photo: Luftwaffe)

The Heron TP is a multi-role, advanced, long-range MALE UAS. It is faster, larger and higher flying than the Heron Mk 1 on which it is based and has been equipped with automatic taxi-takeoff and landing systems, satellite communication for extended range and fully redundant avionics.

An Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Heron UAV destined for the German Air Force flew for the first time in German air space on 15 May marking a major step towards the system achieving full operational capability.

The system was developed by produced by UAV Programme Executive Office at the Directorate of Defense, Research and Development at the Israeli MoD and IAI. The German Heron TP (GHTP) is a further development of Israel’s Heron TP.

Germany was an early adopter of the original platform, Heron 1, which it has used during deployments in Afghanistan and Mali for a number of years.

As part of an operational turnkey solution by Airbus, the GHTP RPAS will fill a gap in the field of persistent, airborne, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, with performance levels beyond Heron 1.

In addition to the provision and modification of the RPAS, the industrial operator model will also include the training of air force personnel, basic operation, maintenance and repair, both in theatre and as the provision of flight hours.

Shephard Defence Insight noted that the deal, signed in June 2018 between IAI and Airbus DS, was to lease and provide maintenance services for the Heron TP to the German Federal Ministry of Defence, with Airbus DS acting as the main contractor.

The US$600 million contract was for nine years and included options for content expansion including extending the lease period by a maximum of another three years.

The Shephard News Team


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