In preparation for its delivery to the German Armed Forces, the German Heron TP Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has completed its first flight in the skies of the State of Israel. It is the result of a joint program led by the UAV Executive Office in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), of the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and Airbus DS Airborne Solutions, an Airbus Group company. The UAV was modified according to the needs and requirements of the German Ministry of Defense.
IAI Executive VP and GM of the Military Aircraft Group, Moshe Levy: “IAI is pleased to mark this important milestone in the Heron TP project for Germany. We thank our partners in the Ministry of Defense and Airbus Group, for their cooperation in this project – a result of which we are going to provide the German Air Force with a system tailored to its operational needs and requirements.”
Head of the UAV Executive Office in the Israel Ministry of Defense, Col. (Res.) C: “This is a significant and historic phase in the strategic cooperation between Israel and Germany: an Israeli-developed UAV, produced for the German Air Force, took off for its first flight in Israeli skies. Despite the various development challenges we faced, and with Corona challenges added on top, we are on schedule. This is thanks to the collaboration and great work done by elements of Germany and Israel’s defense establishments.”
The agreement between the respective ministries was signed in June 2018. The agreement outlines the leasing of a number of UAVs as well as maintenance and training services. The German Heron TP UAV is a medium altitude, long endurance, and multi-mission aircraft with a variety of payloads. It is based on the Israeli “Eitan” UAV, which is in operational use in the Israel Air Force. The German Heron TP UAV was modified in record time and incorporates advanced ‘blue-and-white’ Israeli technology. As such, German Air Force personnel are training together with their Israeli counterparts in an IAF base in central Israel.