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An Israeli-developed UAV, produced for the German Air Force, took off for its first flight in Israeli skies. In preparation for its delivery to the German Armed Forces, the German Heron TP UAV has completed its first flight. 

The UAV was modified according to the needs and requirements of the German Ministry of Defense. It is the result of a joint program led by the UAV Executive Office in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), of the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMoD), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and Airbus DS Airborne Solutions, an Airbus Group company.

Photo by IAI

The agreement between the respective ministries was signed in June 2018. The agreement outlines the leasing of a number of UAVs as well as maintenance and training services. As such, German Air Force personnel are training together with their Israeli counterparts in an IAF base in central Israel, according to IAI’s announcement.

The German Heron TP UAV is a medium-altitude, long-endurance, and multi-mission aircraft with a variety of payloads. It is based on the Israeli “Eitan” UAV, which is in operational use in the Israel Air Force. The German Heron TP UAV was modified in record time, despite the various challenges, including those brought by the Corona pandemic, and incorporates advanced ‘blue-and-white’ [Israeli] technology.

IAI Executive VP and GM of the Military Aircraft Group, Moshe Levy thanked the partners in the Ministry of Defense and Airbus Group for their cooperation in the project, “a result of which we are going to provide the German Air Force with a system tailored to its operational needs and requirements.”