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Airbus signs contract for HERON TP drones with German Armed Forces

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Heron TP unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Photo: Airbus Defence

BERLIN (BNS):  World leading defence company Airbus Defence has signed a contract for Heron TP unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the German Armed Forces.

Airbus and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) signed an operator agreement for Heron TP unmanned aerial systems (UAS) after parliamentary approval was granted on 13 June 2018.

The contract includes both the provision of Heron TP UAS as well as all operational services required for the system. In accordance with German budget law, the contract will become effective upon publication of the federal budget, Airbus said in a statement.

Heron 1 drones currently deployed by the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) in Afghanistan and Mali will be replaced by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) made Heron.

The project will have a two-year set-up phase, followed by an operational phase lasting a further seven years, thereby bridging the gap until a sovereign European drone will be developed, it said.

The Bundeswehr will receive five aircraft equipped for reconnaissance missions and capable of carrying weapons, four sets of ground segments, training environments and all system operational services.

The systems are equipped with electro-optic and infrared sensors and imaging radar systems to perform far-reaching reconnaissance tasks. Satellite communication systems and German data and voice encryption systems are also part of the configuration. The UAVs are kitted out with a weather radar system so that they can operate in bad weather conditions.

The MALE HERON TP system will get military certification from the German Armed Forces aviation authority in accordance with STANAG 4671 allowing the system to be used around the world.

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