German and Israeli Operators Training in Tandem
The first German HERON TP UAV, produced by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has completed its first successful flight in Israel, marking a further milestone in the UAV agreement between the German and Israeli MoDs, signed in June 2018, outlining the lease of a number of platforms and the respective maintenance and training services. German Air Force personnel are currently training, together with their Israeli counterparts, at an air base in central Israel.
The UAV was modified in line with Bundeswehr requirements. It is the result of a joint programme led by the UAV Executive Office in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), of the Israeli MoD, IAI and Airbus DS Airborne Solutions. It is a medium altitude, long endurance, multi-mission aircraft capable of carrying a variety of payloads and is based on EITAN UAV, in operational use with the Israeli Air Force. The German HERON TP was modified in record time and incorporates advanced ‘blue-and-white’ [Israeli] technology.
“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,” commented Col C, the Head of the Israeli MoD’s UAV Executive Office. [Serving Israeli officers are not identified by name for reasons of operational and personal security. – Editor]