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Israel Aerospace signs $200m UAV deal with unnamed Asian country

June 2, 2021 at 4:46 pm

An Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) Harop UAV, designed to take out air defences in a kamakazi-style attack, seen at the Paris Air Show on June 19, 2013 [Julia Herzog / Wikimedia]

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced a $200 million contract yesterday to provide unmanned aerial systems (UAS) services to an unnamed country in Asia.

The deal is for the sale of the IAI’s Heron drone, including the more advanced MK II version.

“The deal is a testament to our customers’ strong satisfaction with the Heron UAVs, including their operational and technical performance,” said IAI President and CEO, Boaz Levy. “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 drone that can perform missions including intelligence gathering, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance, according to IAI.

It was used extensively during its latest round of air strikes on the Gaza Strip last month, the statement said.

READ: Israel to request $1bn more in US military aid

At least 255 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children and 39 women, and more than 1,900 others injured in 11 days of Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

According to the Globes business daily, yesterday’s agreement is the fourth UAV deal the state-owned IAI has signed this year.

Earlier this year, IAI won a tender by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, known as Frontex, and also signed two other Heron UAV deals in Asia. The previous three deals were together worth around $140 million, according to Globes.

IAI was the main contractor for the project and the satellite’s payload was developed by defence firm Elbit Systems.

The company also sells weapons to the Israeli military used in attacks on Palestinians.