By ARIE EGOZI
Tel Aviv. Israel aerospace industries (IAI) has intended to officially offer its Heron TP UAV to India in a frontal competition with the US made Predator UAV.
India has indicated that it has great interest in the Predator B but has not initiated a competition or a selection process.
The Indian defence forces currently operate the IAI Heron-1 UAV. But now the operational requirements call for a bigger and more capable platform.
“When the Indian authorities issue an official request we will be ther to offer the Heron – TP,” an Israeli source said.
The IAI Heron TP is a multi-role, advanced, long range Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for strategic missions. It is equipped with automatic taxi-takeoff and landing systems (ATOL), satellite communication (SATCOM) for extended range, fully redundant avionics and more.
The Heron TP was designed as a multi-mission platform to address local and international customers’ needs and to perform a variety of strategic missions, including intelligence gathering, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance, using various payloads, with a high level of reliability.
The Heron-TP is 14 metres long and has a wing span of 26 metres and a max t/o weight of 5670 kg. It can carry a payload weighing 2700 kg. Its maximum ceiling is 45,000 feet, max speed is 220 knots and endurance is 30 hours.
-The writer is an Israel-based freelance journalist