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7 juillet 2015 2 07 /07 /juillet /2015 11:30
IAI and Thales have integrated a new datalink capability on Heron


Jul 7, 2015 source IAI


Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Thales have conducted, in Israel, risk reduction flight tests for the integration of Thales and Elisra's NATO STANAG 7085 data link on board the Heron Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV).


Through a joint effort between IAI and Thales, Thales's data link terminal, the TMA 6000, together with Elisra Radio Frequency Modules and antennas, have been integrated on board the Heron system and successfully demonstrated in flight. During the flight test, both infrared and daylight videos were transmitted in real time to the ground control station, and the sensors were controlled in real time from the ground.


The TMA 6000 complies with NATO STANdard Agreement (STANAG) 7085: the waveform standard for real time transmission of videos, images and other Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) data from on-board sensors to dedicated ISR stations. This compliance ensures NATO interoperability and guaranties radio frequency authorisation in full alignment with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) regulation, as well as high resistance to jamming and interception. The TMA 6000 offers exceptional radio performances with a throughput capability up to 137 Mb/s.


The Heron is a MALE UAV developed by Israel Aerospace Industries. It is capable of operations of up to 45 hours in duration at up to 30,000 ft. The different variants of Heron are operated by more than 15 nations worldwide including: Israel, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and more.

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8 juin 2015 1 08 /06 /juin /2015 11:35
Die Aufklärungsdrohne Heron

8 juin 2015 Quelle: Redaktion der Bundeswehr 06/2015 15E18803


Wenn in Afghanistan die Spähtrupps das Lager verlassen, begeben sie sich in jedem einzelnen Einsatz in Lebensgefahr. Wie ein Schutzengel wacht dann das unbemannte Luftfahrzeug „Heron“ über sie. Wir haben die Heron-Crew und die Aufklärer im Einsatz begleitet.

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4 décembre 2014 4 04 /12 /décembre /2014 17:35
Australia’s Heron mission ends in Afghanistan

04.12.2014 Pacific Sentinel

Australia’s Heron Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) detachment in Afghanistan flew its final mission for Operation SLIPPER from Kandahar Air Field on 30 November 2014.


Heron aircraft have completed more than 27,000 mission hours during Operation SLIPPER providing high resolution intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to Australian forces and our International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) partners in southern Afghanistan since August 2009.


Heron Rotation 15 Commanding Officer, Wing Commander (WGCDR) Phillip Parsons said Australian personnel had forged a strong reputation for professionalism and dependability over the past five years.


“The personnel on Rotation 15 continued the highly professional work of the rotations that have gone before them,” WGCDR Parsons said. 



“The Australian Heron capability forged a fine reputation among our American and other Coalition partners here in ISAF as a result of our can-do attitude and the capabilities of this aircraft.


“From Heron’s first days supporting the Special Operations Task Group through to the end of Australia’s mission in Uruzgan province last year and support to ISAF units throughout 2014, Heron has provided commanders on the ground with information they needed to fight and keep their people safe.”


Wing Commander Phillip Parsons said the Heron personnel had excelled in their role in Afghanistan.


“Sometimes we were the only Remotely Piloted Aircraft flying in this region and we’d often be called upon to get overhead and provide information back to Coalition partners.”


Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral (VADM) David Johnston, said the Heron teams had made a significant contribution to Australia’s mission in Afghanistan.


“This final flight marks the end of a dedicated and well-executed mission that has been pivotal in keeping our personnel safe, minimising the risk to civilians on the ground and achieving our Operation SLIPPER mission,” VADM Johnston said.


“Defence personnel from all services who have deployed with Heron can hold their heads high for further developing the capability of the ADF to employ the RPA, while forging and maintaining a strong reputation for professionalism among the ADF as well as with our international partners.”


Three Heron Remotely Piloted Aircraft were based at Kandahar Air Field and operated in southern Afghanistan.


Approximately 490 Air Force, Navy and Army personnel deployed with the Heron detachment during its 15 rotations.


Following the conclusion of Australia’s mission in Uruzgan in December 2013, the Heron mission was extended to support ISAF members in Regional Command – South, including support to the 2014 Afghan presidential election.


Heron is Air Force’s first unmanned aerial system and notably, entered service directly into Afghanistan after Air Force and Army personnel undertook training in Canada in July 2009.


All Heron detachment personnel will return to Australia by the end of December 2014.


Australia is committed to supporting security and stability in Afghanistan beyond 2014 through cooperation in security, diplomatic and development channels, and continuing to build the capacity of Afghanistan’s national institutions. 


Australia has pledged to contribute to the post-2014 NATO-led ‘train, advise, assist’ mission and our current contribution provides a good foundation for Australia’s post‑2014 commitment. 

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1 décembre 2014 1 01 /12 /décembre /2014 07:35
Drone Down! Indian Heron UAV Crashes


November 26, 2014 Livefist


Drone down. An IAI Heron unmanned aerial vehicle of the Indian Air Force crashed today [26 nov] near Bhuj in western India. Indications are that the crash followed engine trouble and subsequent loss of control. The Indian Navy has lost a few Searcher MK.IIs in the past, but I'm pretty sure this is the first crash of the larger Heron, the most advanced unmanned air system currently in Indian service. The IAF and Indian Navy operate about 45 Heron I/IIs between them, with the government clearing a 15 Heron buy 11 months ago.

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2 septembre 2014 2 02 /09 /septembre /2014 11:50
Sensorbediener der Aufklärungsdrohne Heron 1

2 sept. 2014 Quelle: Redaktion der Bundeswehr 09/14 14Z21901


Fliegendes Auge über Afghanistan. Wir zeigen die Arbeit des Sensorbedieners der Heron I Aufklärungsdrohne im Einsatz in Afghanistan.


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28 mai 2013 2 28 /05 /mai /2013 17:35
IAF’s Israeli drones of not much use in Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh

May 28, 2013 idrw.org (IBN7)


The deadly Naxal attack on the Congress leaders in Jagdalpur could have been prevented had the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) not been lying idle in faraway Hyderabad. According to intelligence sources, since every drone takes off from Hyderabad, they can’t spend sufficient number of hours hovering over the Naxal-affected regions in Chhattisgarh to gather intelligence. The Indian Air Force (IAF) never agreed to operate these UAVs from Jagdalpur, considering the region unfit for the stay its officials, the sources said.


The 12 Heron drones, bought from Israel in 2009, have failed to scan the Darbha forests or Sukma region as they never fly over these interior regions, the intelligence sources said. This is the reason why more than 500 Maoists gathered in these forests without being noticed by anyone. After the massacre, the killers were able to easily flee, putting a big question mark on the utility of such high-tech devices.


These drones are operated from the Begumpet airbase near Hyderabad. After flying for almost three hours to reach the Naxal-affected regions in the state, these machines are forced to return as they run out of fuel and have already reached their maximum range.


The IAF was requested to fly these drones to Jagdalpur last year from a DRDO’s air strip near it. But the IAF, citing lifestyle reasons of its officers, did not agree to do so. Meanwhile, the IAF had assured of shifting the Hyderabad UAV base to Bhilai and operate it from the airstipr of Bhilai Steel Plant but even after one year, the drones are being operated from Hyderabad.


The modus operandi of the intelligence agencies has also raised eyebrows, the sources said. The IAF sends the information gathered by the drones to National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) for analysis. Shockingly, NTRO does not have access to the intelligence reports. Thus, due to lack of coordination, the whole intelligence analysis work goes in vain, sources said.


The ability of the Israeli drones is under question as the electro-optical thermal radar censors mounted atop Heron-1 drones cannot penetrate the thick jungle cover and are unable to differentiate between Naxals and local villagers. However, the DRDO is taking the help of a Swedish firm to make these Israeli drones more accurate.

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28 mai 2013 2 28 /05 /mai /2013 07:30
Heron Down

May 27, 2013: Strategy Page


On May 11th Israel crashed a Heron UAV with engine trouble into the sea, before it could crash in a populated area. The next day all Heron 1s were grounded until it could be determined what the problem was and if it was common to all Heron 1s. About a hundred Heron 1s are in service or on order. The largest user is India, followed by Israel. The 1.2 ton Heron UAV can stay in the air for 30 hours or more, and has a payload of 250 kg (550 pounds). It is similar to the U.S. Predator, and entered service (in 1994) before the Predator. The Israeli Air Force uses Hermes 450 and Heron UAVs heavily to keep an eye on the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Syria. Grounding all of an aircraft type after an accident is not unusual.


Last year a larger Heron TP (also known as Eitan or Heron 2) crashed, and all Israeli Air Force Heron TPs were grounded. It was seven months before these UAV were cleared to fly again. The investigation concluded that the crash was due to a manufacturing not a design flaw. For a while there were doubts about the durability and reliability of the Heron TP. During the investigation some government officials called for selling off the few Heron TPs the air force had because the aircraft was too expensive to buy and operate. Israel has less expensive UAVs (like the Heron 1) that get the work done at a lower cost. But the accident investigation made it clear that the Heron TP was a capable aircraft that could benefit from some more manufacturing quality control.



The Heron TP entered squadron service in the Israeli Air Force (with 210 Squadron) four years ago. The UAV's first combat service was three years ago, when it was used off the coast of Gaza, keeping an eye on ships seeking to run the blockade. For that kind of work the aircraft was well suited. But so are smaller and cheaper UAVs.


Development of the Heron TP was largely completed six years ago, mainly for the export market, and the Israeli military was in no rush to buy it. There have been some export sales and the Israeli air force eventually realized that this was an ideal UAV for long range operations or for maritime patrol. But it turned out there were few missions like that.


Equipped with a powerful (1,200 horsepower) turboprop engine, the 4.6 ton Heron TP can operate at 14,500 meters (45,000 feet, 50 percent higher than Heron 1). That is, above commercial air traffic, and all the air-traffic-control regulations that discourage, and often forbid, UAVs fly at the same altitude as commercial aircraft. The Heron TP has a one ton payload, enabling it to carry sensors that can give a detailed view of what's on the ground, even from that high up. The endurance of 36 hours makes the Heron TP a competitor for the U.S. five ton MQ-9 Reaper. The big difference between the two is that Reaper is designed to be a combat aircraft, operating at a lower altitude, with less endurance, and able to carry a ton of smart bombs or missiles. Heron TP is meant mainly for reconnaissance and surveillance, and Israel wants to keep a closer, and more persistent, eye on Syria and southern Lebanon. But the Heron TP has since been rigged to carry a wide variety of missiles and smart bombs.

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15 octobre 2012 1 15 /10 /octobre /2012 07:50

Eitan (Heron TP) drone source flightglobal.com


Oct 12, 2012 Spacedaily.com (UPI)


Tel Aviv, Israel - Israel Aerospace Industries, flagship of the Jewish state's defense sector, is reported to have secured a $958 million contract from India's military to upgrade its IAI-built Heron and Searcher unmanned aerial vehicles.


UAVs are one of the biggest money-spinners for Israel's defense industry and India, which is engaged in a massive multiyear rearmament program, is a key customer.


Israel's Globes business daily cited Indian media reports that the deal covers some 150 UAVs acquired from IAI since the 1990s that are operated by India's army, air force and navy.


The Indian army deploys around 100 Searchers along the country's western, eastern and northern borders. The air force employs Searcher IIs and Herons for reconnaissance and surveillance missions.


"Once the upgrades are complete, the air force will be able to use the aircraft for long-range missions and control them through satellite communications systems," Globes reported.


Israel is one of the world's leading arms exporters, with most of its key customers in the developing world.


The U.S. Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress reported in August that from 2004-11, Israel signed arms transfer agreements worth $12.9 billion. That ranked it as the eighth largest arms supplier in the world, behind the United States, Russia, France, Britain, Germany, China and Italy.


IAI has had major dealings with India in recent years.


In early 2006, IAI and the Indian Defense Research Development Organization signed a $480 million contract on missile development. Israeli business sources said the deal was a major boost to IAI's orders backlog at a time when Israel's defense industry, a key revenue earner, had to grapple with a big dip in the global market.


IAI won a $1.1 billion deal with the Indian navy in 2009 to provide advanced Barak-8 tactical air-defense missile systems for its warships. The Indian army is jointly funding a project to adapt the Barak-8 into a multipurpose weapons system.


Also in 2009, Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems secured a $1 billion contract with New Delhi for 18 Spyder surface-to-air missile systems by 2012.


IAI sold the Indian air force three Phalcon early warning aircraft worth $1.1 billion in 2004.


All told, Israeli companies have sold India weapons and other military systems worth more than $10 billion over the last decade or so. In 2007, the Jewish state replaced France as India's second largest arms supplier after Russia.


India has also expressed interest in Israel's Arrow-2 anti-ballistic missile system jointly manufactured by IAI and the Boeing Co. of the United States.


But the technology transfer involved could impede any sale since U.S. approval would be required.


With a significant slowdown in the growth of high-tech exports to the United States and Europe, Israeli defense exporters are shifting their marketing focus to Asia.


In 2010, Israeli defense sales reached $9.6 billion, with the three largest defense-oriented companies along employing 30,600 people.


In March, India blacklisted Israel Military Industries, a major arms manufacturer, for 10 years because of a 2009 bribery scandal that has dogged links between the Jewish state's defense industry and one of its biggest customers.


State-owned IMI is the main supplier of defense platforms for the Israeli military and is a significant exporter in the defense field. This sector that has become increasingly crucial to maintaining production lines and developing new systems at a time when the government is slashing Israel's defense budget.


The decision by the Indian government "is expected to significantly impact IMI's activities in India, as well as that of other Israeli defense firms," the liberal Haaretz daily reported following the announcement of the blacklisting.


"However," Oxford Analytica observed in a December analysis, "these industries are now facing a problem similar to the one they faced in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when they reacted quickly to the lessons learned during the 1973 war and the spate of airline hijackings.


"Systems invented at that time included UAVs and sophisticated airport security networks but for a while it was hard to sell these products.


"Both systems have since been adopted by the security forces of many countries and form the core of Israeli defense exports."

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