IAI Heron

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Thales have performed risk reduction flight tests in Israel to integrate the Nato STANdard Agreement (STANAG) 7085 data link on board the Heron medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (MALE UAV).

As part of the development, the firms integrated Thales’s data link terminal, the TMA 6000, along with Elisra radio frequency modules and antennas on the UAV.

The integration of Thales’ terminal is in compliance with STANAG, which is the waveform standard for real-time transmission of videos, images and other intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) data from on-board sensors to ISR stations.

The flight test saw the ground control station, which controls the sensors, receiving both infrared and daylight videos in real-time.

"The flight test saw the ground control station, which controls the sensors, receiving both infrared and daylight videos in real-time."

In addition to high-resistance to jamming and interception, the STANAG compliance offers Nato interoperability and guaranties radio frequency authorisation in full alignment with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) regulation.

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By GlobalData

According to Thales, its solution provides radio performances with a throughput capability of up to 137Mb/s.

IAI’s Heron aircraft is capable of operations of up to 45 hours in duration at up to 30,000ft.

This MALE UAV, in different versions, is currently in operation with more than 15 countries including Israel, Australia, Canada, France and Germany.

In June, IAI upgraded its Heron TP UAV’s capabilities with long-range persistent surveillance options and area dominance capabilities.

The company received this achievement after integrating the UAV with its high-definition M-19HD EO payload that is manufactured by IAI’s Tamam Division.

Image: Thales integrated its data link terminal, the TMA 6000, on board the Heron MALE UAV. Photo: courtesy of Thales Group.