Representatives from Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the Greek Ministry of National Defence have signed an agreement to lease a number of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Greece.
The deal was signed on May 6 by Israel’s Defense Ministry Director General, Maj Gen (Res) Udi Adam and the Hellenic Air Force’s (HAF’s) General Director for Defence Investments and Armament, Lt Gen (Ret) Theodoros Lagios. The contract was signed digitally in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
As part of the agreement, Israel’s Ministry of Defense will lease an undisclosed number of maritime-configured IAI Heron medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs to Greece for three years. The deal includes an option for Greece to purchase the platform at the end of the leasing period.
Brig Gen (Res) Yair Kulas, head of the International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT), said: “The great security relations between Israel and Greece are expanding. We see great importance in the choice made by Greece to equip its forces with an Israeli system, particularly during the global [COVID-19] crisis.”
The Heron platform is equipped with maritime patrol radars and satellite communication systems. The UAV can be operated both day and night, boasting an endurance of up to 45 hours, a service ceiling of 35,000ft (10,668m) and a beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) range of 621 miles (1,000km). It has a maximum speed of 161mph (260km/h) and a payload capacity of up to 1,037lb (470kg).
Moshe Levy, executive vice president and general manager of IAI’s Military Aircraft Group, added: “IAI UAVs have seen countless operational successes, with over 1.8 million operational flight hours, and in use by more than 50 partners worldwide. With advanced automation capabilities, the UAVs are equipped with payloads that meet a variety of requirements aligned with the operational scenarios presented.
“The agreement with Greece is yet another example of the successful leasing model promoted by IAI in many parts of the world. We thank the Ministry of Defense for its ongoing assistance that has led to this co-operation, and we are proud to provide state-of-the-art operational services to our partner, Greece”, Levy added.