Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is to unveil its Heron MK II drone at the Singapore Airshow, which will be held February 11-16. It is an improved version of the Heron "Shoval" already in operational use by the Israel Air Force (IAF) and more than 20 other militaries around the world. The Heron MK II is a long-range, long flight, multi-mission and payload-carrying strategic aircraft.
The Heron MK II, from the Heron family of UAVs, gives operators of Herons around the world a significant advantage, and it is operated using the same operational conceptions, IAI said in a press release. "These operational conceptions are based on the great amount of combined knowledge and experience in the drone field that were accumulated by the IAI during its nearly 50 years of operations, more than 1.8 million combined flight hours and more than 50 operational clients," IAI said.
The Heron MK II has a Rotax 915 iS motor and can reach an altitude of 35,000 feet and maximum speed of 140 knots, and can stay airborne for up to 45 hours. "Thanks to improved production technologies, the Heron MK II has a wider and stronger fuselage that facilitates quick and easy maintenance without changing the drone's weight. The drone enables new configurations and has a long-range observation sensor and radar, and is capable of carrying a wide range of payloads such as electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communication intelligence (COMINT) ones," according to IAI.
The most exceptional capability of the drone, the company emphasized, is its standoff capability, namely the collection of intelligence on a specific target from dozens of kilometers away without crossing a border, thanks to its capability to carry larger and more advanced sensors. In addition, the Heron has improved avionics and an improved motor.
Moshe Levy, IAI executive vice president and general manager of the company's military aircraft group, said, "We are proud to present an additional and important development in the field of drones produced by IAI. The Heron MK II enables a significant expansion of the scope of operations with an emphasis on the ability to carry out intelligence collection missions."
"This system is the latest member the Heron family considered one of the leading strategic drones in the world. The ability to offer the Heron MK II creates additional opportunities for us in the world, and enables us to expand the range of operational solutions offered to our clients," Levy said.