Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has introduced a next-generation version of its Heron unmanned aerial system (UAS) at the ongoing Singapore Airshow at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore.
Dubbed Super Heron heavy fuel (HF), the new UAS has been developed by the company to meet growing interest among leading customers worldwide, and features a heavy fuel 200hp engine and an advanced propulsion system that significantly enhances its capacity, rate of climb and performance.
IAI president and CEO Joseph Weiss said, "Based on IAI’s world-renowned Heron UAS, the Super Heron introduces the latest technology and re-defines medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAS."
The drone, whose air speed exceeds 150k true airspeed (KTAS), consists of multiple combat-proven operational configurations for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR), maritime patrol and other missions.
The payloads include a MOSP 3000 electro-optical/infrared sensor and an Elta Systems-built ELM-2055 synthetic aperture radar/ground moving target indication payload, Flightglobal reports.
Additional features include multi-sensor systems, advanced communications systems, dual automatic takeoff and landing system, proven airspace integration, triple redundancy, as well as advanced computerised systems.
The UAS’s enhanced processing capabilities, increased electrical power and standard interface architecture are claimed to facilitate simple integration of new payloads in the future.
Super Heron HF successfully completed flight trials in Israel in late 2013, according to the news agency.
Manufactured by the Malat division of IAI, Heron is a MALE UAV system designed primarily to conduct all-weather day-and-night intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions for up to 52 hours.
The drone is equipped with advanced avionics, high-resolution, pivotable infrared TV camera, detection capabilities and communication systems and a fully automatic take-off and landing capability.
Different Heron versions are currently in use with Australian, Israeli, German, Turkish and Indian air forces.
Image: IAI president and CEO Joseph Weiss aside the Super Heron HF UAS at the Singapore Airshow. Photo: courtesy of Israel Aerospace Industries.