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IAI and 2Excel put Maritime Heron to the test in UK

10th May 2022 - 12:02 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Maritime Heron in flight near West Wales Airport. (Photo: IAI)

The Maritime Heron MALE UAS has proved itself capable of operating under UK regulations.

The Maritime Heron UAS from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has completed a series of tests in the UK to show its BVLoS ISR capabilities for potential coast guard and naval missions.

IAI was partnered by 2Excel Aviation in a multi-scenario demonstration flight from West Wales Airport in Aberporth. All the planned the scenarios were conducted successfully despite what IAI described on 10 May as ‘challenging seasonal weather’.

IAI added: ‘The system demonstrated that it is highly capable in missions including search and rescue, border protection, fisheries patrol, safety at sea, small boat detection and surveillance and other activities.’

Data from the multimission ELM-2022H radar, M-19 HD stabilised EO/IR sensor and AIS vessel identification system aboard Maritime Heron was processed by IAI’s Starlight AI-based data exploitation engine, which then generated points of interest for ‘actionable intelligence’, the Israeli company stated.

The flight was witnessed by officials from the MoD and other UK government agencies. Andy Offer, co-founder and director of 2Excel Aviation, reported ‘very positive’ feedback from UK aviation regulators.

He added: ‘2Excel and IAI together demonstrated they can operate a very capable Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) platform in the UK within the constraints of the current regulatory environment.’

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