The Talarion UAV
24/6/2012 Arie Egozi - israeldefense.com
It appears that Germany and France intend to renew the development of the Talarion UAV – which decreases the chances of selling IAI’s Heron TP UAV
France and Germany have decided, at least in principle, to renew the project for the advanced Talarion UAV. Should the decision be actualized, it could hurt the chances of exporting the large Heron TP UAV produced by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to both countries.
France decided to acquire the Heron TP following the cancellation of the French-German program for constructing the Talarion, and Germany had considered acquiring it as well.
However, after the elections that were recently held in the country, France is reexamining its policy for acquiring unmanned vehicles – part of an attempt to initiate a pan-European program.
As reported by IsraelDefense, it seemed that the chances of selling Israeli-produced UAV systems to European countries had increased considerably after the European EADS corporation decided to significantly reduce its investments in developing the Talarion, prior to the French elections.
Several European countries have already acquired Israeli UAVs produced by IAI and Elbit Systems, with France and Germany also operating Israeli UAVs and the British Watchkeeper project being based on the Hermes-450 UAV developed by Elbit Systems.
However, as stated, a principle decision has been accepted to renew the Talarion project, which is considered a “European UAV." Several European countries that sent forces to Afghanistan learned of the capabilities of the UAVs operated there. It seems that this will also awaken the market and result in large investments in various European UAV models, lowering the chances of selling the Heron TP.