Two Israeli companies are showing MALE (Medium Altitude, Long Endurance Platforms) UAVs. Israel Aerospace Industries is displaying the Heron TP, currently being evaluated by a number of European countries for strategic ISR roles. Heron TP is the largest UAV built in Israel to date. With maximum takeoff weight of 4650 kg, the 14 meter long aircraft is designed to operate at altitude of 40,000 ft and carry over 1,000 kg of mission payload sensors. The aircraft is equipped with multiple datalinks, supporting line-of-sight (LOS) and satellite communications. Aeronautics Defense Systems is unveiling the twin-engine ‘Terminator II’ long endurance UAV that can carry payloads up to 400 kg weight, based on an unmanned version of the D42 custom built by the Austrian Diamond Aircraft company. The 1.785 ton twin-engine unmanned aircraft is designed for maximum operational ceiling of +30,000 ft. and mission endurance of 28 hours. It is equipped with triple redundant avionics, line of sight and satellite communications systems. The unmanned D42 is fitted with four different cameras providing remote operators and pilots full situational awareness.
Several companies are unveiling here systems developed for these MALE UAVs – RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems is introducing a new reconnaissance payload designed for UAV, providing highly detailed, wide area coverage in visual and Infra-Red (IR) spectral bands. Carried by MALE UAVs, such as Heron TP, Reaper, Heron or Predator, Rafael’s RECCE-U payload can operate simultaneously and independently of the platform’s other payloads, enabling operators to increase UAV mission utility without increasing sortie rate. The platform is certified for flight under all weather conditions. RADA is unveiling at the airshow a new family of UAV avionic systems, designed for small, medium and large UAVs. The company displays its distributed avionics architecture, comprising engine and payload interface controllers, electrical power management and engine control units, supporting comprehensive and scalable UAV applications. RADA is also introducing the MAVINS, its latest ‘All-in-one Modular Avionics and INS’ (MAVINS) weighing only one kilogram, and designed for small and compact platforms.
Hermse 450B (Watchkeeper) – Elbit Systems’ Hermes 450 is the mainstay of Israel’s Defense Forces UAV force. The same model is currently supporting British forces in Afghanistan. The British forces will also employ a modified version known as Watchkeeper, developed in cooperation with Thales UK. A new member of the Hermes family of UAVs is making debut at the exhibition. Hermes 90 is designed for close-range class UAV system, supporting tactical, mobile land forces with real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services in day or night as well as under restricted weather conditions. The Hermes 90 uses the new MicroCompass multi-sensor payload developed by Elbit Systems.