The German army plans to rent five unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems from Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) at a cost of €580 million. The systems are IAI's most advanced UAVs the Heron TP, also adopted in recent years by the Israeli air force, which calls it Eitan.
Signing of the deal for leasing the UAVs to Germany is slated for the near future, after the particulars were recently settled. Germany also used IAI-manufactured UAVs in the past, including the Heron, an older version of the ones it is planning to rent in the current deal. The UAVs previously leased to Germany were used in combat in Afghanistan.
It is believed that at least five Heron TPs will be leased to Germany, which will use them for patrolling and observation missions. Delivery is scheduled for 2018. The German army selected the Heron TP over other recently considered UAVs, including the US-manufactured Reaper (formerly Raptor) and the Predator.
Using leased UAVs is a temporary arrangement for the Germans, who are waiting for accelerated development of a European UAV. At the same time, such a UAV will be developed and become operational only several years from now.
Launched in 2007, the Heron TP weighs 4.5 tons, uses a satellite navigating system, and can stay airborne for almost 40 hours. It can carry a wide range of special payloads, depending on the mission it is performing.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 28, 2016
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