Israel Aerospace Industries announces delivery of the 1st Heron UAV to Canada
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) delivered today the first Heron UAV system to the Canadian Air Force.
IAI and MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) as prime contractor, were recently awarded (August 2008) a contract to deliver IAI’s Heron UAV through MDA to Canadian forces deployed in Afghanistan (NOCTUA project). According to publications the contract is valued at 95 million Canadians Dollars (81 million USD).
The UAV lease for Canada will be completed by the end of 2010, with an option to extend for an additional year.
The platform and equipment are built completely at IAI's facilities in Israel, while management, training, and in-theatre maintenance for the Canadian operators is the responsibility of the Canadian prime contractor MDA.
The Canadian Air Force and Army have been exposed to IAI's abilities in UAV's for some time. Several demonstrations have been made, illustrating the various solutions available to meet Canadian operational demands.
Shortly before the delivery, IAI’s Malat Division hosted the Canadian Defense Attaché in Israel, Col Geordie Elms for a tour of the facilities. During his visit at Malat, Col Elms was shown the most updated line of products Malat Division has to offer, including the Heron UAV.
This is not the first time MDA and IAI have cooperated on a UAV project. Under the "Ardea" project, the Heron was tested for use in civilian missions, and was successfully demonstrated in Alberta, Canada.
The successful cooperation with MDA on the “Ardea” project led to the joint price proposal to the Canadian Air Force for the NOCTUA project.
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