Germany has extended the operation of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) Heron 1 drones until mid of 2020, Airbus unit Airbus DS Airborne Solutions GmbH, which acts as the contractor for the German government, has announced.
The German Air Force has been using the Heron 1 system in Afghanistan since 2010 and in Mali since 2016. To date more than 46,000 operational flying hours have been successfully flown by the German Air Force and Airbus says that the Heron 1 system makes an indispensable contribution to the protection of soldiers and civilians in the operational areas. With its operational range of up to 800 kilometers, the Heron significantly expands the possibilities of airborne reconnaissance of the German contingent.
The Heron 1 has a wingspan of about seventeen meters and a maximum mission duration of more than 24 hours. The detection of IEDs from the air, convoy and patrol unit escort, route exploration and supervision, creation of movement profiles and long-term supervision, support for status reports as well as object and camp protection rank among the military tasks. The system is also used for security and humanitarian support operations.
“In Afghanistan and Mali, the services model has proven its performance capability by reaching a system availability of more than 98%. The proven capability of the Heron system to support worldwide deployment missions is reflected in these contract extensions as well as in the signed contract on the next generation RPAS Male Heron TP.” said Ralf Hastedt, Head of Sales and Business Development of Airbus DS Airborne Solutions GmbH.
IAI EVP and general manager IAI military Aircraft Group Moshe Levy said, “We are very pleased to see the satisfaction of the German Air Force with the Heron UAS activities and the excellent cooperation with Airbus DS Airborne Solutions, forming the basis for such a renewed contract extending the capabilities for long-range airborne reconnaissance of the German Air Force in Afghanistan and Mali by at least another year."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on December 16, 2018
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