IAF replaces manned patrol planes with Heron UAS
16 May, 2017
The previous platform, the manned Sea Scan airplanes are to exit service. "UAS provides a better solution for the maritime patrol mission"
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) is replacing its manned Sea Scan maritime patrol aircrafts, with Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) maritime version of the Heron 1 (Code named Shoval) unmanned air vehicle systems set to take over in this role.
IAI reported this week Thatt he IAF ordered additional Heron 1 UAV Systems equipped with a maritime radar and electro-optical payload, for maritime patrol and intelligence missions on everyday bases.
The previous platform, the manned Sea Scan airplanes are to exit service. Following the retirement of the Sea Scan (Code named Shachaf) from operational service in the IAF, the Shoval remains solely responsible for aerial supervision of Israel’s naval arena.
The HERON is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAS for strategic and tactical missions that can stay in the air for up to 30 hours. It consists of 2 proven automatic taxi-takeoff and landing systems (ATOL), Satellite communication (SATCOM), retractable landing gear and fully redundant avionics.
The maritime model is equipped with the MOSP electro-optical payload made by the TAMAM division of IAI, and a lightweight airborne maritime surveillance radar made by ELTA. Heron 1 fleet will provide comprehensive protection of naval borders and strategic infrastructures. Shaul Shahar, General Manager of the IAI Military Aircraft Group, said that the capabilities of this UAS “provides a better solution for the maritime patrol mission than currently exists at the IAF.”