Israeli Heron UAV makes mark on Brazil
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has made a strong case for its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Heron to the Brazilian federal police.
IAI demonstrated the capabilities of the aircraft in Brazil under ‘challenging, unpredictable’ weather conditions during the tests conducted by Brazilian police last week for operations related to ‘border security, and smuggling, natural resource theft, and drug trafficking concerns’.
According to IAI, “The demonstration took place under challenging, unpredictable weather conditions in one of the most difficult areas of Brazil to fly in: the state of Parana, and the region of San Miguel de Iguacu. Despite this, the system performed flawlessly in all its tasks, and was able to fulfill the customer’s requests. It is especially important to note that the Heron was the first UAV system in the world to fly in this region of southern Brazil. The Heron was easily integrated into the demonstration airspace, which sees a lot of commercial air traffic, and was fully coordinated with the local Air Traffic Control. ”
IAI recently founded a joint venture with the Brazilian corporation Synergy Group, EAE, which will be active in the Brazilian market as well as other potential Latin American markets. This joint company will provide an opportunity to expand the Brazilian technological base, will act as a hub for technology and expertise, and will provide maintenance and customer support services for IAI’s various systems in use in Latin America, including the UAV.
IAI says the Brazilian federal police organized a professional, high-level team around two years ago, which included police pilots, engineers, and professionals, to investigate the capabilities of international UAV manufacturers, and find a UAV system that would best fit the specific needs of the Brazilian government. The teams reportedly found the Heron UAV suitable for relaying data and intelligence in real time, carrying a number of sensors simultaneously, and employing satellite communications and Automatic Takeoff and Landing (ATOL). The police team reportedly emphasized that the Heron system can successfully complete missions under difficult climate and terrain conditions, and has more advanced flight and loitering capabilities than those offered by other UAV systems.
There have been several successful demonstrations of the Heron UAV’s capabilities, the last of which took place in El Salvador with the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).