Germany has signed a leasing agreement for the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron TP medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that had been delayed by an industry protest.
The contract includes both the provision of Heron TP UAS as well as all operational services required for the system. In accordance with German budget law, the contract will become effective upon publication of the federal budget.
Heron 1 drones, which are currently deployed by the German Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Mali, are to be replaced by the more powerful IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries)-made [Heron TP] which is already fully operational with the Israeli Air Force, although the contract between the Bundeswehr and Airbus is based on this previously successful model. Industry will ensure system performance, flight hours and availability and enable soldiers to focus fully on their respective missions.
Under the terms of the basic contract, the Bundeswehr will receive five aircraft equipped for reconnaissance missions while being capable of carrying weapons.
The MALE HERON TP system will get military certification from the German Armed Forces aviation authority in accordance with STANAG 4671 allowing the system to be used around the world.