Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed two deals to supply its Heron MK II unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to an undisclosed central Asian nation.
Seen at its public unveiling at the Singapore Airshow in 2020, the Heron MK II has now been selected by an undisclosed central Asian nation which has contracted IAI for one leased and one owned system. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)
Announced by the company on 25 January, the deals comprise one lease and one sale of its medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAS to the same country for “tens of millions of dollars”. The systems include an undisclosed number of air vehicles, reconnaissance payloads, and ground control stations.
While no details pertaining to the potential customer were disclosed, the Heron 1 that precedes it is fielded by India in the central Asian region. Azerbaijan is also a customer, if not strictly classified as central Asian.
As previously reported by Janes during its public unveiling at the Singapore Airshow in 2020, the Heron MK II retains the same dimensions and general performance specifications as the earlier Heron 1, with improvements including a widened fuselage pod for a greater number of sensors and/or more powerful mission systems. It also boasts a new propulsion configuration comprising the fully certified Rotax 915 iS 1,352 cc turbocharged four-stroke engine, which has a time before overhaul (TBO) rating of 1,200 hours and which produces up to 135 hp at maximum continuous power while coupled to a three-bladed variable-pitch pusher propeller.
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