Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) and its partner Airbus DS Airborne Solutions, a subsidiary of Airbus, have won a tender in which they will lease Heron UAV systems to the EU’s Frontex – the European Border and Coast Guard Agency – to perform naval patrol and shore protection missions.
The framework agreement that was signed includes the provision of maritime patrol services, flight equipment and maintenance for about four years in several European countries.
The estimated scope of the deal is tens of millions of dollars, and it is another expression of confidence in the capabilities of the marine Heron UAV, which were proven in an experiment in Crete in 2018, and in many operational activities by the IDF and other operations around the world.
The flight will be performed in European civilian airspace, under a call sign and civil flight procedures without any military involvement and control.
The Marine Heron in the Frontex service is equipped with an electro-optical sensor for day and night vision and a marine patrol radar.
The system is operated in LOS (Line Of Sight) and satellite communications (SATCOM), which enables it to increase its flight range and low-altitude flight over the sea, and provides an up-to-date and accurate intelligence image in real time.