Luftwaffe: Heron 1 achieves over 15000 flight hours in Afghanistan
At the beginning of July, the IAI Heron 1 UAS logged its 15,000th operational flight hour. The three systems are stationed in Mazar-e-Sharif in north Afghanistan. They have made more than 1300 flights.<br /> <br />
Heron 1 is deployed by the Bundeswehr in a so-called operator model, on a leasing basis. Cassidian subsidiary Cassidian Airborne Solutions, headquartered in Bremen, is responsible for all maintenance work and ensures that the UAS are available to the Bundeswehr.
The contract also provides for the take-offs and landings in Mazar-e-Sharif to be controlled by Cassidian “pilots”, after which the aircraft are handed over in the air to Bundeswehr personnel. The Bundeswehr is thus able to dedicate its full attention to completing its mission, as staff are not burdened with auxiliary tasks (take-off, landing, maintenance and repair).
The Heron 1 unmanned reconnaissance system’s sensors deliver useful information round the clock for preparing and carrying out military operations. The integrated satellite datalink enables the Bundeswehr and its Nato partners to monitor the entire northern half of Afghanistan, whose surface area of more than 300,000m2 almost equals the size of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The unmanned reconnaissance system’s availability for monitoring ongoing operations from the air via real-time video has in the meantime become an essential criterion for carrying out operations.