A maritime version of the Heron 1 (Shoval) unmanned air vehicle systems will be replacing the Israeli Air Force’s (IAF) manned Sea Scan maritime patrol aircraft, Heron-manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries has announced.
According to the company, the IAF ordered additional Heron 1 UAV systems equipped with a maritime radar and electro-optical payload that will make them more suitable for their growing role in carrying out maritime patrol and intelligence gathering missions on everyday bases.
The maritime model of Heron 1 consists of an advanced electro-optical payload – the MOSP, made by the TAMAM division of IAI and the lightweight airborne maritime surveillance radar made by ELTA.
The Herons will provide protection of naval borders and strategic infrastructures to meet the operational needs.
Shaul Shahar, IAI EVP and general manager of the Military Aircraft Group, said: “The Heron 1 has proved its capability to perform long-range, long-endurance maritime patrol missions. Thanks to its unique features and upgraded payloads, the Heron 1 provides a better solution for the maritime patrol mission than currently exists at the IAF.”