The German army has chosen an Israeli-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to defend its troops in Afghanistan.
By: Atara Beck, World Israel News
Germany has decided to purchase up to five Heron TP unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) made by Israel’s Aerospace Industries (IAI) to defend its soldiers deployed over seas, Germany’s defense minister said Tuesday.
“This is about drones that can be armed, that will be standard in the future,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said. “It is important for the protection of our soldiers in deployments abroad,” she explained.
The choice was also supported by German army commander Volker Wieker.
The Heron TP, now in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) as the “Eitan,” was designed as a multi-purpose, multi-system platform to address local and international customers’ needs and to perform a variety of strategic missions with a high level of reliability. It is designed to fly at high altitude on missions spanning over several days. This HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) UAV has a wingspan of a Boeing 737 and weighs 4.5 tons – when carrying 1000 Kg of its maximum weapons payload.
The purchase of the five Heron TP UAVs will have them operating outside Israel in 2018, at a total cost of 580 million Euros.
German troops in Afghanistan are currently using the Heron 1, an unarmed version of the drone. Germany chose the Israeli drone over the US-made Predator B.
This announcement came a day before a new German-made submarine joined Israel’s navy as it docked at Haifa’s port.