Germany has again extended its leasing contract with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for Heron 1 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations in Afghanistan, it was announced on 12 December.
According to Airbus, which is the prime contractor for the German government, the Bundeswehr has renewed its leasing arrangement with the company for an additional year, extending it to the end of 2019. The announcement follows a one-year extension announced in 2017 and is intended to ensure continued support of ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Mali.
The contract extension will see the baseline Heron 1s flying through to the introduction into German service of the larger Heron TP (again leased from IAI), which was originally set for early 2018 but was subsequently delayed by a now-resolved protest from General Atomics, which had offered its Reaper instead.
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