Airbus to operate German Heron 1 UAS
Airbus Defence and Space will operate Germany’s Heron 1 UAS in support of the German Army’s mission in Mali, the company announced on 21 July.
Airbus will operate the IAI-leased Heron UAS from the start of November 2016 through to February 2018.
The German Army took over responsibility for the intelligence unit in Mali from the Netherlands at the beginning of July. Based on the army’s positive experience of deploying Heron in Afghanistan under a similar model, Heron 1 will take on the surveillance mission mainly in the Gao region.
The contractor operated model ensures high fleet availability for German forces allowing them to focus on their core mission.
Thomas Reinartz, head of sales for UAS, Airbus, said: ‘A major success factor for this new assignment is our experience gained in more than 2,300 missions over Afghanistan. There we have proven our reliability to the full satisfaction of our customer – with a fleet availability higher than 95 percent.’
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