IAI’s Maritime Heron Drone Shows Off Its Prowess for the UK Military

The Maritime Heron can sustain 45 hours of continuous flight 7 photos
Photo: Israel Aerospace Industries
Maritime Heron UASMaritime Heron UASMaritime Heron UASHeron TP UASHeron TP UASHeron TP UAS
It’s no secret that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are becoming more and more important for military forces around the world, especially due to their versatility. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is consolidating its status as one of the global experts in military drones. Its next-generation maritime UAS for maritime operations recently proved what it can do during a demonstration for the UK government.
The Israel Air Force relies heavily on UAS, judging by the fact that four drone squadrons account for 80% of its total flight hours. Recently, the Heron 1 and Heron TP UAS became the first drones to fly next to fighter jets during the Independence Day celebration flyover.

The maritime version of Heron, on the other hand, took center stage during a recent demonstration for the UK Ministry of Defense, the UK government, and representatives of the Civil sector, which took place at the West Wales Airport in Aberporth, Wales.

Israel Defense reports that the drone was ready to go within 36 hours of arriving. It also got the chance to demonstrate its ability to cope with extreme weather conditions, from humid to snowy, since the weather in Wales was apparently not favorable at all for the demonstration.

The live demonstration included BLOS (Beyond the Line of Sight) maritime search operations and ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) tasks. That’s because this maritime patrol drone is meant for a variety of missions, from search and rescue to border protection and small boat detection.

At 8.5 meters (27.8 feet), Heron can support a payload of up to 470 kg (1,000 lbs). Its impressive operational endurance of 45 hours is matched by a range of at least 1,000 km (621 miles), depending on fuel availability.

During the demonstration, the Maritime Heron also received live requests from the ones who were attending, transmitted through the system’s ground control station (GCS). In return, the drone was able to broadcast the data it had gathered to in-person and virtual attendees at the same time.

The event, which was carried out by IAI together with 2Excel Aviation, marked “a growing bond between IAI and the UK industry,” according to Moshe Levy, IAI Executive Vice President.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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