Defense Media Network

Newest Defense Media Network Promotion

IAI Feeds International UAV Demand With Unveiling of Super Heron

Strict limits on the export of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the United States has given foreign companies an opportunity to dominate the ever-growing international market. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is one such company. Its Heron UAV is in operation with 20 countries, including Australia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Turkey, and Mexico. Seeking to continue that proliferation, IAI unveiled its Super Heron during a ceremony at its chalet at the 2014 Singapore Air Show on Feb. 11.

“Based on IAI’s world-renowned Heron UAV, the Super Heron introduces the latest technology and redefines medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV.”

The Super Heron was developed in response to growing interest from its leading customers, the UAV is a follow on to the Heron, which has flown 250,000 operational flight hours worldwide. “We are proud to introduce the new generation of IAI’s leading UAV,” said said Joseph Weiss, IAI president and CEO. “Based on IAI’s world-renowned Heron UAV, the Super Heron introduces the latest technology and redefines medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV,” added Weiss.

Super Heron Sensor

The Super Heron’s sensor suite will give it the capability to perform an array of missions such as, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, reconnaissance, and maritime patrol. IAI photo

IAI’s latest UAV offering is powered by a 200 horsepower engine, an increase of 85 horsepower from the Heron, and an advanced propulsion system. This gives the Super Heron an enhanced capacity, rate of climb, and performance over the Heron. The Super Heron has speeds of 172 mph, compared to the Heron’s 112. Endurance has also more than doubled to 45, from the Heron’s 24. Although the flight ceiling remains unchanged, mission radius has been greatly expanded to over 600 miles, from around 200 miles.

Possible configurations for the Super Heron include, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, reconnaissance, and maritime patrol. The Super Heron also includes multi-sensor capabilities and proven airspace integration.

IAI believes that the advanced avionics, triple redundancy, and advanced computerized systems will enhance the growth potential of the Super Heron. Enhancing processed capabilities, increased electrical power, and standard interface architecture will also allow for the integration of new payloads. Possible configurations for the Super Heron include, intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, reconnaissance, and maritime patrol. The Super Heron also includes multi-sensor capabilities and proven airspace integration.

Super Heron

The Super Heron is likely to generate interest from users of the Heron. IAI photo

The Super Heron is likely to provoke interest among international clients that are current users of the Heron. The various IAI UAVs have racked up 1.1 million operational flight hours around the world, part of a growing demand for UAVs with enhanced capabilities.

By

Steven Hoarn is the Editor/Photo Editor for Defense Media Network. He is a graduate of...