In preparation for its delivery to the German Armed Forces, the German Heron TP UAV has completed its first flight in the skies of the State of Israel this weekend.
The UAV was modified according to the needs and requirements of the German Defense Ministry. It is the product of a joint program led by the UAV Executive Office in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development of Israel’s Defense Ministry, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Airbus DS Airborne Solutions, an Airbus Group company.
The agreement between the respective defense ministries was signed in June 2018. It outlines the leasing of a number of UAVs as well as maintenance and training services. As such, German Air Force personnel are training together with their Israeli counterparts in an IAF base in central Israel.
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 Israeli technology.
Head of the UAV Executive Office in the Israeli Defense Ministry, Col. (Res.) C, said in a statement: “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 challenges we faced, including those brought by the Corona pandemic, we are on schedule. This is thanks to the collaboration and great work done by elements of Germany and Israel’s defense establishments.”
IAI Executive VP and GM of the Military Aircraft Group, Moshe Levy, said in a statement: “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.”