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Germany to lease Israeli Heron drones

German Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries reached agreement this month.

By Geoff Ziezulewicz
Germany to lease Israeli Heron drones
German Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries have signed an agreement for the Bundeswehr to lease Heron drones, the MOD said. U.S. Air Force photo

BERLIN, June 30 (UPI) -- Germany's Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries have signed an agreement for the Bundeswehr to acquire Heron drones, the ministry said.

The lease deal is intended to bridge Germany's drone capability gap until a planned European drone comes online, the MOD said when announcing the June 23 agreement.

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The lease will go until 2025.

The Israeli Ynetnews reported this week that the deal is worth $666 million and involves five drones that can carry bombs and rockets.

German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen announced the selection in January.

The Heron TP is a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV able to operate for 52 hours at a time, depending on the payload. The variant distinguishes itself from the Heron 1 by being armed in addition to carrying out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

The aircraft is used by a number of militaries around the world, including Canada, Brazil, Australia, Turkey, and the United States.

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