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The deal to lease Heron TP systems manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to Germany has been approved. On June 13, IAI signed an agreement with Airbus to lease Heron TP Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) RPASs (remotely piloted air vehicle system) to Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defense. The system which is a world leader of its kind is in service with the Israel Air Force since 2010.

Under the $600 million deal, Airbus DS Airborne Solutions GmbH will serve as the prime contractor responsible for managing all aspects of the project, including operational support and maintenance throughout the term of the agreement. The nine-year agreement is pending approval of the German federal budget, which is expected in the second half of 2018.

The Heron TP MALE is a high altitude, long endurance, strategic, versatile and multiple-payload RPAS, which features IAI’s most advanced technologies. The Heron TP is the strategic variant of the Heron family, which includes the Heron 1, used reliably by the German Air Force since 2010 Afghanistan and since 2016 in Mali. The German’s choice of the Heron TP builds on this long-term successful experience.

According to Shaul Shahar, IAI EVP and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Group, “the Heron TP is a first-rate strategic RPAS. Its strong performance will provide Germany with unprecedented air superiority. We regard it as a powerful symbol that the technology of Israel’s largest defense company will be used in the heart of Germany’s defense organization.”