Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on Tuesday unveiled the newest “Super Heron” drone at the Singapore Air Show, an aircraft that “redefines” Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial systems, said in a statement of IAI.
The newest drone features a heavy fuel engine and a propulsion system that enable it to operate at an altitude of 30,000 feet ( about 9 km), fly 1000 km when linked to satellite communications, and remain aloft for 45 hours, according to IAI’s report at a press release.
“Its forte lies in the enhanced triple-redundant avionics, processing capabilities, operational flexibility, and simple integration of more diversified payloads, among other features,” an IAI spokeswoman told Xinhua.
The Super Heron is a significantly upgraded version of the ” Shoval,” the first Heron-type drone to had entered service in the Israel Air Force (IAF) in 2007, where it has since been used in intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR), maritime patrol and other missions, and has been sold to 20 foreign customers.
The IAI spokeswoman clarified that the Heron family continues to be dominated by the Heron TP, also known as Eitan, a fourth- generation craft delivered to the IAF in February 2010 which can reportedly be armed with missiles for long-range strategic strikes.
“Super Heron is positioned between the Shoval and the TP, and was developed to meet requirements specified by leading customers, ” the spokeswoman said.
According to the statement, IAI’s various drones have accumulated over 1.1 million operational flight hours around the world, while the Heron family has accumulated 250,000 operational flight hours worldwide.