Tel Aviv: The Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Heron 1 UAV will participate in defending the territorial waters of Greece. On the recommendation of EASA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, the Greek civilian aviation authority has for the first time issued a permit allowing IAI’s Heron 1 UAV to be flown in Greece’s airspace.
The permit allows the system to be used in the operational activities of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) whose charter is to provide marine surveillance and coastal protection. The UAV flights are carried out in Europe’s civil airspace according to civil flight procedures with no military intervention or control.
The Heron 1 systems are equipped with electro optical day- and night-vision payloads and marine surveillance radars that provide an up-to-date, real-time, accurate intelligence picture. This information is then distributed to decision-makers in situation rooms by means of a specialized system that ensures the smooth coordination, planning, and command of the various tasks and assignments.
Moshe Levy, Executive VP&GM, Military Aircraft Group, commented, “IAI is extremely proud that our proprietary UAV is flying in Europe’s civil airspace. Together with our partners at Airbus, we are ready to provide Frontex with the best possible service to help them fulfil their every need. IAI’s Heron has already accumulated over 500,000 operational flying hours globally with countless successful missions. We look forward to seeing it succeed yet again.”
IAI’s Heron UAV has a rich operational record of serving Israeli, European, and many other customers worldwide. It is designed to perform prolonged strategic and tactical assignments, including those under extreme weather conditions, while simultaneously carrying many payloads (and sensors) and transmitting real-time information to the forces and decision-makers on the ground.