Heron TPs for Germany

The German parliament has approved a contract for the Bundeswehr to operate five Heron TPs.

The Bundeswehr (German Armed Forces) is to operate the Heron TP unmanned aerial system. German parliamentary approval was given on June 13 for a contract for five aircraft, which will replace the Heron 1s currently deployed by the Bundeswehr. The contract, which also covers four sets of ground segments, training environments and all system operational services, is based on the existing Heron 1 agreement where industry is responsible for system performance, flight hours and availability. The Heron TPs will be used for reconnaissance missions, but will additionally be capable of carrying weapons. They will be equipped with electro-optical and infrared sensors, imaging radar, satellite communication, weather radar and German data and voice encryption systems. There will be a two-year set-up period ahead of the initial Heron TP delivery followed by a seven-year operational phase until replacement by the proposed European medium-altitude longendurance system. Mark Broadbent