Germany chooses Israeli-made armed drones for future missions
The German military has decided to lease Heron TP unmanned aerial vehicles produced by Israel Aerospace Industries to defend its troops, Germany's defense minister said Tuesday.
"This is about drones that can be armed, that will be standard in the future," Ursula von der Leyen said, adding, "It is important for the protection of soldiers." The selection is also backed by German army chief Volker Wieker.
The Heron TP, which has a range of about 7,400 kilometers and a maximum flight time of over 70 hours, can be used for strike missions, reconnaissance and surveillance, among other tasks.
Reports said up to five Heron TP UAVs, costing approximately 580 million euros, will operate out of Israel starting in 2018. German troops in Afghanistan are currently using unarmed versions of the drone. Germany decided to lease the Herons rather than purchase US-made Predator B UAVs.