RAF praises HERTI UAVs in Afghanistan

Nov. 13, 2007 at 8:47 AM
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FARNBOROUGH, England, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- BAE Systems' HERTI unmanned aerial vehicles have won operational praise from Britain's Royal Air Force.

"The deployment of the BAE Systems HERTI UAV system into an operational environment has been hailed a success by both the RAF and BAE Systems – partners in the unique Project Morrigan," BAE Systems said in a statement last week.

BAE Systems said the RAF "deployed a HERTI system, one of the world's first fully autonomous unmanned air vehicles -- UAV -- in Afghanistan this summer as part of Project Morrigan, a joint initiative between the RAF Air Warfare Center and BAE Systems. Launched in September 2006, it aims to integrate HERTI UAV systems into U.K. forces for a short period in order to develop potential tactics, techniques and procedures for the integration of HERTI's capabilities into existing joint manned/unmanned force structures."

Wing Commander Mike Humphreys, Officer Commanding of the RAF's UAV Battlelab, said: "Whilst the objectives and outputs from the exercise remain classified, the HERTI system has been successful in demonstrating its capability in an operational environment. Both the RAF and BAE Systems are satisfied with the progress and development of the project thus far and we look forward to building on this in the coming months."

"With its ability to take off, complete a full mission and land – all at the click of a computer mouse – HERTI has been designed to meet a wide variety of operational needs both cost effectively and with extremely high levels of reliability whilst removing the need for an operator or pilot to control the aircraft from the ground," BAE Systems said.

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