Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is set to deliver additional Heron TP unmanned reconnaissance aircraft to the Israeli Air Force (IAF).

Featuring the latest capabilities, the new Heron unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will lead to a 70% increase in IAF’s flight hours.

The Heron TP squadron, integrated with remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), is equipped with a wide range of capabilities such as electro-optic and radar payloads, increased flight envelope altitude, speed and range, airborne endurance, as well as larger payload capacity.

IAI Military Aircraft Group executive vice-president Shaul Shahar said: “The Heron TP, a member of IAI’s Heron family we deliver to Israel’s airforce, is unique on a global scale and we are proud it is playing a key role in the IAF.

“The Heron TP allows many different tasks to be performed.

“Heron TP can fly at an altitude of up to 45,000ft and has an endurance of more than 30 hours.”

“This is due to its high performance, with an emphasis on high flight speed, high altitude, and enhanced payload capacity, allowing long-range multi-role operation with a wide scope of observation and intelligence capabilities.”

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The 14m-long IAI aircraft is a multi-mission and multi-payload RPAS that has been designed and developed to address the highest standards of safety and reliability.

With a maximum take-off weight capacity of 5,400kg and payload capacity of 2,700kg, Heron TP can fly at an altitude of up to 45,000ft and has an endurance of more than 30 hours.

Built to operate in extreme weather conditions, the aircraft is the medium altitude, long endurance (MALE) strategic RPAS of the company’s Heron family, which includes the Heron 1 RPAS.

The Heron 1 UAV has been deployed to support Nato forces across the globe since 2010.