, BEN-GURION International Airport, Israel: The Israel Air Force (IAF) receives today (March 7, 2007) the medium-altitude, long endurance Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system developed and produced by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The Heron UAV, which has been dubbed by the IAF as the “Shoval,” represents a substantial leap to the air force's operational capabilities due to the UAV's unique characteristics as the largest and heaviest of the IAF's UAV fleet, capable of carrying the largest payload and payload mix in comparison to other IAF UAVs.
The Heron can fly at an altitude of 30,000 feet, and has an endurance of over 40 hours. It can carry a number of payloads and sensors simultaneously, and supply its operators with real-time data. The UAV possess a quiet engine and has redundant systems, providing very high mission reliability.
Israeli Heron UAV
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IAI's President & CEO, Itzhak Nissan, said that: “The acceptance of IAI's Heron UAV by the IAF is a substantial breakthrough in the IAF's UAV capabilities. These capabilities have already proven themselves in IAF UAV operations by performing long endurance, high altitude, heavy payload and multi-task missions with great reliability. We are pleased to celebrate the Heron's acceptance with the IAF and we will continue our long-term commitment to supply unique products to the IAF and the IDF in the future.”
The Heron UAV is a strategic UAV with a wingspan of 16.6 meters, a maximum takeoff weight of 1200 kg, a mission radius of hundreds of kilometers, and a capability of flying under any weather conditions. The HERON incorporates fully automatic launch, flight and recovery capabilities. The UAV has been successfully marketed to many foreign customers and receives frequent praise for its design and capabilities.
During the recent conflict in Lebanon, IAI Heron UAVs were successfully operated, utilizing various payloads. The UAVs were jointly operated by the IAF and teams from IAI and proved their operational utility. Its capabilities open new horizons in the multi-task usage of UAVs.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is a world leader in the development and manufacturing of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) systems. UAV systems made by IAI are operationally operated by dozens of customers worldwide for over three decades and have accumulated more than 330,000 flight hours.