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Heron UAV validates long-range mission capabilities

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The Heron UAV. An IAI photo

TEL AVIV (BNS): The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)-made Heron unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has demonstrated its capabilities for long range missions using satellite communication during an operational test flight held in a South American country.

The demonstration flight was held last month during which the Heron medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV crossed the Andes - the longest continental mountain range in the world.

The drone, carrying a synthetic aperture radar (SAR), electro optical payload for day and night use, and a communication intelligence system, reliably performed various day and night flights during several days of activity, at ranges extending over 500 km and at altitudes of more than 25,000 ft, IAI said.

The system successfully demonstrated its performance under extreme weather conditions which are typical to the Andes, including strong winds, very heavy cloudiness and icing conditions.

"This latest demonstration proves Heron's advanced capabilities and its compatibility with challenging conditions in various areas around the world. In South America, Heron is operational in several countries, including Ecuador, where it has been operating in its maritime configuration for over two years, to the satisfaction of the local Navy," the Israeli defence firm said.

Heron is also operational in the Himalayas, where it operates routinely under extreme weather conditions, takes off and lands on runways located in height of 11,000 ft, and reaches heights of over 30,000 ft.

IAI said it is working on developing an advanced variant of the multi-mission UAV which will feature advanced engine, new communication system and modern avionics among others to enhance the Heron's performance in various areas.

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Heron  UAV  IAI  
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