The Heron TP RPAS Produced by UAV PEO at the DDR&D – IMoD, IAI Makes its Maiden Flight Over Germany

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv / New Delhi: The German Heron TP (GHTP), produced by UAV PEO at the Directorate of Defence, Research and Development (DDR&D) at the IMoD and Israel Aerospace Industries, made its flight for the first time on May 15 in German airspace. The Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) was customised for the unique requirements of the German Ministry of Defence, as part of a joint venture between IAI, Israel’s Ministry of Defence’s Directorate of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D), and Airbus.

The close cooperation between Airbus, IAI, DDR&D and the German Armed Forces, ensured development of a RPAS which exhibits both advanced performance and operational readiness while also providing the German Armed Forces with additional capabilities. The flight was conducted in the presence of the senior representatives from the German Air Force, the DDR&D at the Israeli Ministry of Defence, Airbus and, IAI. This historic event is an important step towards reaching full operational capability.

President and CEO of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Boaz Levy commented,” The deployment of Heron TP (GHTP) RPAS in Germany signifies a milestone achievement for Israel Aerospace Industries, reinforcing its position as a leading provider of cutting-edge aerospace and defence solutions on the global stage. This collaboration sets the stage for continued innovation and collaboration in addressing the ever-evolving challenges in the defense sector.”

” We are immensely proud to witness this milestone achievement, the maiden flight of the German Heron TP. This joint endeavour between Israel and Germany exemplifies the strong partnership and collaboration between our nations, harnessing cutting-edge technology to provide a qualitative military advantage. The German Heron TP RPAS represents a strategic leap forward in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, fortifying Germany’s defence prowess while fostering interoperability with our allies,” said
Head of DDR&D, IMOD, Dr Daniel Gold.

IAI VP and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Group, Moshe Levy said, “ IAI is pleased to note this further step forward in the German Heron TP project. We thank our partners at Airbus and the Ministry of Defence for their cooperation in this project. It is a source of considerable pride for us that the Heron UAV manufactured by IAI is now flying in German airspace. Together with our partners at Airbus, we are at the disposal of the German Ministry of Defence for whatever they may need and will provide our best possible service. We look forward to implementing a fully successful program.”

“We are thrilled with this historic achievement as the Heron-TP RPAS completed its first flight on German airspace. This milestone, made possible through collaborative efforts between Israeli and German governments alongside the IAI and Airbus industries. The Heron-TP RPAS includes advanced capabilities by using cutting-edge technologies integrated into its design,” stated Head of UAV PEO, DDR&D, IMOD.

Head of Air Power at Airbus Defence and Space, Jean-Brice Dumont said, “With the German Heron TP, we are building on the success of our close cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries and the German Armed Forces on the Heron 1. This RPAS has been vital for the safety of German troops and populations in Afghanistan and Mali, while also having supported humanitarian missions. The Heron TP will continue in this tradition and guarantee an unmanned system with outstanding performance and operational readiness, which could also provide additional capabilities for the German Armed Forces in the future due to its modularity, such as maritime surveillance capabilities.”

The German Heron TP (GHTP) RPAS, a strategic platform capable of carrying a variety of sensors, is a unique joint Israeli and German project, based on a contract given to Airbus and IAI.

As part of an operational turnkey solution by Airbus, the German Heron TP (GHTP) RPAS will fill a gap in the field of persistent, airborne, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). In addition to the provision and modification of the RPAS, the industrial operator model also includes the training of Air Force personnel, basic operation, maintenance, and repair, in theatre, as well as the provision of flight hours.

The system is equipped with means to conduct optical and imaging radar reconnaissance, while providing options for additional SIGINT (signals intelligence) as well as maritime surveillance capabilities. The German Heron TP (GHTP) RPAS, enables the German Armed Forces to expand its strategic and tactical capabilities, while ensuring interoperability with NATO partners. At the same time, the system is the only RPAS in its class that has been certified in compliance with STANAG 4671.

The Heron TP is the strategic version in IAI’s Heron family of RPAS which also includes the Heron 1 – successfully operated by the German Air Force during its deployments in Afghanistan and Mali for a number of years.