Rheinmetall and IAI Offering Heron TP for Bundeswehr SAATEG Program

Released on Monday, June 2, 2008
Heron TP
IAI - Israel Aerospace Industries
ILA - International Berlin Airshow
IMOD - Israeli Ministry of Defense
IOC - Initial Operational Capability
ISTAR - Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance
MALE - Medium Altitude Long Endurance
SAATEG - System fuer die abbildende Aufklaerung in der Tiefe des Einsatzgebietes
UAV - Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Rheinmetall Defence and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have announced their new cooperation agreement on the marketing of the Heron TP UAV reconnaissance system for long-range operations in the Bundeswehr programme SAATEG ("imaging surveillance system for the depth of the deployment theatre") during the Berlin Air Show ILA 2008. This programme has the task of contributing towards a comprehensive situational awareness within the scope of networked command & control, both over land and on the high seas or at the coasts. At present, the German armed forces do not yet have a MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) drone system that can be deployed for missions abroad in all the corresponding environmental conditions worldwide and on a 24/7 basis. The key requirements for the new system are capabilities for wide-area realtime surveillance and situation reconnaissance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment - including object and target tracking - as well as competence for precise identification.

The German need must be met in the near-term, i.e. the initial operating capability (IOC) is already planned for 2010.

For this programme, Rheinmetall Defence and IAI are offering the long-range UAV system "Heron TP" - an advancement of the proven Heron system. Heritage of more than 400,000 UAV flight hours and 30 years of operational experience by 35 customers were implemented in the design and the development of the Heron TP.

The Heron TP incorporates the latest technologies to meet today's operational needs of ISTAR forces.

Designed as a Multi-payload, Multi-mission platform to answer the requirements of the Israeli Air Force, the HERON TP presents a versatile robust, "all weather "capable MALE UAV system which complies with the SAATEG requirements of the German Armed Forces.

Developed in the framework of an Israeli Ministry Of Defence (IMOD) program several UAV's were already manufactured and tested and it is ready now for serial production.

The Heron TP system meets the requirements specified by the Bundeswehr without any restrictions and, in addition, offers a number of major advantages. In the sensor area, it is equipped with the latest technology and offers a high degree of mission flexibility and considerable growth potential - especially with regard to payload. As a result, the system will make a significant contribution to the safety of the German soldiers in the operational area.

Rheinmetall Defence will be responsible for the complete ground infrastructure, ground control unit, interface to existing command & control infrastructures ("Germanization" of the system) and the entire logistics area.

The companies Rheinmetall Defence and IAI have already been cooperating successfully for some time now in other areas, e.g. the Bundeswehr programme WABEP ("weapon system for standoff-capable engagement of single and pin point targets") and for the conversion of Boeing 747 passenger planes to cargo aircraft. This strong alliance offers further opportunities for the advancement of a joint technology basis, amongst other things, in the field of unmanned flight systems and Airborne Systems.

Source: Rheinmetall Defence and IAI cooperate in wide-area reconnaissance - Ultramodern unmanned surveillance system for Bundeswehr programme SAATEG

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