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Germany finalises Heron TP UAS deal
Bundeswehr Heron 1. © Bundeswehr

Germany finalises Heron TP UAS deal

Germany has finalised arrangements for deployment of IAI Heron TP unmanned aerial systems, to be supplied and operated by Airbus.

Germany has finalised arrangements for deployment of IAI Heron TP unmanned aerial systems (UAS), following a green light from the Bundestag on 13th June. The Heron TPs will be supplied and operated by Airbus, extending the procedure already in place for Germany's existing Heron 1 fleet.

The move is intended to bridge the gap until the Franco-German MALE remotely piloted system becomes available in the mid-2020s.

The Heron TP will replace the Heron 1 drones, which are currently deployed by the German Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Mali. The project will have a two-year set-up phase, followed by an operational phase lasting a further seven years.

Under the terms of the basic contract, the Bundeswehr will receive five aircraft equipped for reconnaissance missions and capable of carrying weapons, four sets of ground segments, training environments and all system operational services. The basic contract also includes preparing the drones for their use in future countries of operation.

The systems are equipped with electro-optic and infrared sensors and imaging radar systems to perform far-reaching reconnaissance tasks. Satellite communication systems, weather radar and German data and voice encryption systems are also part of the configuration.

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. This is supplemented by the integration of collision avoidance capabilities.

Airbus is already a Heron TP design organisation approved by the German Armed Forces aviation authority and will also become the approved Heron TP manufacturing and maintenance organisation for the project.

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