Israel’s Heron drones integrated in NATO’s Afghanistan war

Germany is the fifth foreign nation to acquire the Heron TP drone or other Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle technology for support missions against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, debkafile‘s military sources report. Today, these drones complement the US Air Force’s dominant role in Afghanistan air space, thanks to two useful features and the CIA’s shortage of Predators for its own and NATO use:
1. The Israeli drones are cheaper.
3. The Herons’ operational features include a long-distance range, the ability to stay aloft for 52 hours non-stop and tracking and targeting capabilities. They can carry out complex functions such as in-flight refueling and slotting into strategic missile defense systems.
Equipped with 1,200-horsepower engines, they carry 250 kilos of ordnance, mainly air-ground missiles. With this load, the Israel UAVs can reach an altitude of 11,000 meters. Flying empty, it can reach a height of13,700 meters. This means that the Heron can fly above regular commercial air traffic without becoming icebound thanks to another special feature, which is important in the freezing Afghan winters.
Our military sources report that the Canadian armed forces began using Israel UAVs a year ago, hiring them on charter from Israel’s Aviation Industries.
Two months ago, Australia’s Special Air Service Regiment SASR fighting in Afghanistan put the Heron into service.
French forces in Afghanistan are using the SIDM which is based on the Israeli Heron’s technology and structure.
The Israel Hermes 450 pilotless vehicle made by Elbit is deployed by British units against Taliban and al Qaeda in the embattled Helmand province, as it was in Iraq.
World armies have purchased a total of 40 Israeli drones of different types. The most recent client was Russia.
Monday, Nov. 2, South Korea’s aviation industry Kai selected Elbit as one of four electronic companies out of 80 contenders to outfit its KUH Surion helicopter:
The Israeli firm will supply Advanced Helmet-Mounted Display Systems (HMDS), Vehicle Information Systems and Data Transfer Systems.

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