IAI announced today it has signed two deals to supply Heron MK II UAV Systems to an Asian Country. The deals represent the first known orders for the Heron MK II system since it was announced 12 months ago. The two orders include leasing two drones to a country in Central Asia and the sale of a third system to that country. The deals are valued at tens of millions of dollars each. The systems include reconnaissance payloads, Heron MK II drones, and the associated ground segments.
IAI has unveiled the Heron MK II in January 2020, as the latest variant in the Heron family of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drones, introduced in 1994. The Heron family is operational with the Israeli Air Force and over 20 other organizations worldwide. Operating at an altitude of up to 35,000 feet, Heron MK II has a maximum speed of 140 knots. It can stay in the air for up to 45 hours.
Heron MK II has improved avionics, a more powerful engine, and stronger chassis enabling quick and easy maintenance without affecting the UAV’s net weight. The UAV enables the use of new configurations and has a long-range reconnaissance sensor and radar. In addition, it can carry a range of payloads including COMINT and ELINT equipment, all sensors are designed to support standoff operation, enabling the gathering of intelligence on targets from a distance of dozens of miles, across borders, and outside the reach of air defense missile.
IAI Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Group, Moshe Levy noted that the systems will operate over land and will carry out different missions, including border protection. The Heron MK II UAVs can land on short airstrips and can operate and endure the region’s extreme weather conditions. “I am certain that these deals will open the door to additional Heron MK II deals,” Levi added.
IAI has been accumulating over nearly 50 years of activity, almost 2 million hours of flight time with more than 50 operational customers. Offered under lease or sale, these drones have seen extensive combat service supporting operational deployments in the Middle East, Central Asia, Latin America, and Africa.