Turkey is ready to accept the delivery of six Heron UAVs for the air force, after the drones successfully passed critical performance tests in Israel and Ankara.

Six of the aircraft successfully passed the tests inspected by a delegation of Turkish officials, said Murad Bayar, head of the government’s defence procurement agency, according to hurriyetdailynews.com.

Jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems, the 4.5t Heron TP can fly automatically in high-altitude safety for 60h at a stretch.

The remaining four UAVs in the programme will undergo similar performance tests in the next few months.

In 2005, IAI and Elbit won the Turkish UAV contract, worth $183m, against US rivals, to supply ten drones.