The longer-range operation capability of the Israel Aerospace (IAI) Heron-1 UAV, based on satellite communications, will has resulted in more payloads some highly classified.
Sources said that the added capabilities will put more burden on the existing fleet and therefore the IAF will has added more UAV’s to the existing fleet.
The Heron-1 is the busiest UAV in the IAF arsenal with over ground and over water 24/7 operations.
The Heron-1 UAV, operated by the Israeli Air Force can now land and take off in remote areas using an advanced satellite communications system.
This capability is essential when the UAV need to be operated continuously without going back to their home base.
The Heron-1 UAV can now automatically land in remote runways located thousands of kilometers away, where it is serviced by a small team and basic fueling infrastructure before it takes off for an additional mission.
According to IAI this capability is based on satellite communication, combined with precise automated takeoff and landing.
The company says that 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 takeoff point for fueling, thus saving on flight time and fuel.
This increases the operational availability in the mission area and provides several options for routine and emergency landing. With the new capability, Heron UAV will be used in even more complicated and challenging missions.
The new capability was developed based on operational demands that are the result of a long series of tests performed by the flight test squadron of the Israeli Air Force (IAF).
The number of UAV’s in the IAF is growing steadily and so is the operational demand from the airforce, ground forces and navy.
To be able to add missions to the existing fleets of UAV’s the squadron has performed tests to approve additional payloads and higher max takeoff weights.
By Arie Egozi
With more than 25 years of experience in defence publishing, Global Business Press and its industry leading titles Asian Defence Technology, Asian Airlines & Aerospace and Daily News are the leading defence publications in the region, present at more international shows and exhibitions than any other competing publication in the region.