Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) will lease a Maritime Heron RPAS unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) for maritime surveillance services off Greece, Italy and Malta.
IAI and its partner Airbus won the tender, which is worth an estimated $20 million to IAI. The agreement includes maritime patrols, flight equipment and maintenance over four years. The deal follows a trial off Crete in 2018, IDF and other operations, which have proven the UAV's effectiveness. The German Army has been using Herons for reconnaissance missions in Afghanistan and Mali since 2010.
The UAV will be fitted with versatile dedicated payloads (electro-optical for day and infrared for night purposes, maritime patrol radar made by IAI and automatic identification system), relevant communication equipment, and corresponding ground mission control and support. The surveillance platform Heron uses a direct link when flying within Line of Sight (LOS), changing seamlessly to a satellite link when flying Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) to transmit real time information or when needed to fly in low altitude over sea.
IAI EVP and general manager Military Aircraft Group Moshe Levy said, "IAI welcomes the signing of the contract with Frontex and achieving this landmark with the maritime Heron. The Heron has successfully fulfilled all missions, exceeding the expectations of its operators. Flying in Europe’s civilian airspace is an important progress for IAI and a solid proof for the RPAS’s ability to fly in civilian routes. I believe this contract will open the door to more civilian markets."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 20, 2020
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