Enabling HERON to operate long distance missions
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) presents a new operational and technological capability for the HERON remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) family. With this new capability, HERON can automatically land in remote runways located thousands of kilometres away, where it is serviced by a small team and basic fuelling infrastructure before it takes off for an additional mission. Based on satellite communication (SATCOM), combined with precise automated take-off and landing, the innovative capability constitutes a major breakthrough for IAI in the remote operation concept, offering utmost operational flexibility.
The new capability also leads to substantial saving in command stations and flying staff resources since it eliminates the need to return to the original take-off point for fuelling, thus saving on flight time and fuel, increasing operational availability in the mission area and providing several options for routine and emergency landing. With the new capability, the HERON UAV can be used in even more complicated and challenging missions.
“Upgrading the HERON family’s operational capability meets our clients’ need for high operational flexibility and is expected to increase the number of markets we target,” Shaul Shahar, Executive Vice President of IAI’s Military Aircraft Group, said. “This is a technological and operation quantum leap which we enthusiastically embrace.”