Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced that it has signed a $200 million contract with an undisclosed Asian country to provide unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), including its Heron and updated MK II drones.
“The deal is a testament to our customers’ strong satisfaction with the Heron UAVs, including their operational and technical performance,” IAI President and CEO Boaz Levy said. “Our customers repeatedly choose the Heron for its broad range of intelligence collection missions in different ground and weather settings.”
The Heron is a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV equipped with automatic taxi-takeoff and landing systems, satellite communication for extended range, and fully redundant avionics. It can perform missions such as intelligence gathering, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance.
Israel’s MK II, used by more than 20 countries, is also fitted with a Rotax 915 iS engine that can reach an altitude of 35,000 feet, a maximum speed of 140 knots (259 km/h), and can remain in the air for 45 consecutive hours.
According to IAI, the recently-signed deal is already its fourth major UAV transaction this year. Earlier this year, the firm won a tender from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
Other Countries Investing in Drones
Last week, it was reported that India will take delivery of four advanced Heron surveillance drones from Israel. The aerial vehicles will be deployed along the country’s border with China.
Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze also disclosed that his country is planning to partner with other countries in producing drones.
“In order to guarantee a high-quality and adequate supply for the program, it is important to launch local production and ensure its continuous development,” he explained.
South Korea is also investing over $7 million in low-noise hydrogen fuel cell drones for covert surveillance and reconnaissance missions. The drones will be produced by Doosan Mobility Innovation and will begin testing in November.