With its unmanned air vehicles having achieved more than 1.2 million operational flight hours and serving with more than 50 operators, IAI is one of the leading companies involved in this sector. Here at Farnborough International 2014 it is promoting a wide range of its UAVs, from the 10,230-pound Heron TP to the nine-pound vertical takeoff Ghost, along with related technologies such as advanced electro-optical, sigint (signals intelligence) and maritime patrol payloads.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has chosen the Singapore Airshow to reveal its latest UAV. The new Super Heron HF is a major update of the Heron 1 that has become a popular choice for medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned missions.
On the day after the merger talks between EADS and BAE Systems became public this week, the French and German governments signed a cooperation agreement on future medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs. The two nations will develop a common operational requirement, and may also jointly operate an interim solution. Both countries currently fly the Israeli Heron 1 system in Afghanistan, but their respective air forces have been pressing for a replacement.
News highlights from the Singapore Air Show this week: Lockheed Martin announced a new version of the evergreen F-16 fighter designated F-16V. It includes the upcoming AESA radar upgrade as well as a new mission computer and cockpit display.
A new UAV design on display here is Elbit’s Hermes 900, the bigger cousin of the popular Hermes 450. The family genes make the Hermes 900 particularly attractive to operators of the Hermes 450–a roster that includes Singapore–as it employs the same ground control stations and maintenance processes.
The French Air Force will sign a contract for between five and seven A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports in 2013, with quick deliveries foreseen, according to its commander General Jean-Paul Palomeros. Budget difficulties thwarted earlier French attempts to procure a new tanker.
On display in the IAI corral outside the Israeli Pavilion are two of the company’s latest concepts for providing observation capability. Developed by the Malat division, both can take off and land vertically, and use electric power for ultra-quiet operations.
As was true of much of the industry, Israel Aerospace Industries saw a fairly steep dip in sales during 2009, largely due to a marked softening in demand on the civil side of its business. Published financial results for the first three quarters of 2009 showed sales slipping by about 25 percent on 2008 and there were few signs that the fourth quarter numbers will have reversed this trend.
Dominating IAI’s exhibit area here at Le Bourget is the Heron TP, a turboprop-powered medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV. It is the first public showing of this craft, whose 85-foot wingspan nearly rivals that of an ATR 72 airliner, which is five times heavier. Heron TP is the latest and largest of a long line of UAVs developed by IAI’s Malat Division.
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