Germany Begins Negotiations on Leasing Heron TP

2016-01-17

Germany Begins Negotiations on Leasing Heron TP
The Bundeswehr has begun negotiations with the Israelis on leasing armed Heron TP medium-range long-endurance unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to bridge the gap until it acquires a European UAS by 2025, along with France, Italy and Spain.

Heron TP was chosen in favour of the US Predator/Guardian Eagle armed UAS because the latter will only be available in one and a half years, according to the Bundeswehr, and because the former better meets its technical requirements, such as different weapons suites and a backup landing system. However, the Bundeswehr is keeping its options open in case its requirements are not met and to keep the competition open.

The Bundeswehr aims to lease three to five systems, which will be based in Israel but will be assigned to Taktische Luftwaffengeschwader (Tactical Air Force Squadron) 51 in Jagel, northern Germany, the same unit which is providing Tornado Recce aircraft for Germany’s mission to support the international coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Training will be provided in Israel and with simulators in Jagel.

Arming unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is a controversial subject in Germany, but Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen identified this requirement in January 2015, saying UAVs will be standard in future to protect soldiers on foreign deployments. The Bundestag, the German parliament, will decide on a case-by-case basis when UAVs can be armed.

Germany is leasing three smaller unarmed Heron 1 UAS to support its contingent in Afghanistan but does not have enough systems for its deployment in Mali.


Region:  Europe
Contry:  Germany
Category:  UAV


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