IAI demonstrates Heron in Brazil
A successful demonstration of Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) System took place last week in Brazil.
The demonstration was done at the request of the Brazilian federal police, which is testing UAV use for several purposes, including border security, and smuggling, natural resource theft, and drug trafficking concerns.
The demonstration took place under challenging, unpredictable weather conditions in one of the most difficult areas of Brazil to fly in: the state of Parana, and the region of San Miguel de Iguacu.
Despite this, the system performed flawlessly in all its tasks, and was able to fulfill the customer's requests. It is especially important to note that the Heron was the first UAV system in the world to fly in this region of southern Brazil.
The Heron was easily integrated into the demonstration airspace, which sees a lot of commercial air traffic, and was fully coordinated with the local Air Traffic Control.
Approximately two years ago, the Brazilian federal police organized a professional, high-level team, which included police pilots, engineers, and professionals, to investigate the capabilities of international UAV manufacturers, and find a UAV system that would best fit the specific needs of the Brazilian government.
Following a series of tests, the team decided that IAI's Heron UAV was best suited to what the police wanted: relaying data and intelligence in real time, carrying a number of sensors simultaneously, and employing satellite communications and Automatic Takeoff and Landing (ATOL). The police team emphasized that the Heron system can successfully complete missions under difficult climate and terrain conditions, and has more advanced flight and loitering capabilities than those offered by other UAV systems.
Several ministers of the Brazilian government and Brazilian armed forces officials, who were in attendance at the demonstration, praised the Heron's abilities. The demonstration was also attended by high-ranking military and civilian representatives from a number of Latin American countries, who were invited by the Brazilian federal police.
IAI recently founded a joint venture with the Brazilian corporation Synergy Group, EAE, which will be active in the Brazilian market as well as other potential Latin American markets.
This joint company will provide an opportunity to expand the Brazilian technological base, will act as a hub for technology and expertise, and will provide maintenance and customer support services for IAI's various systems in use in Latin America, including the UAV.
There have been several successful demonstrations of the Heron UAV's capabilities, the last of which took place in El Salvador with the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).
In that demonstration, the UAV's capabilities in maritime patrol were proven under very difficult weather conditions, including strong winds, heavy cloud cover, and rain.
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