skip to main content

Eurosatory 2022: Tactical Heron eyes manoeuvring forces, awaits launch customer

The T-Heron is the smallest member of the Heron family. Little imagery of the aircraft is available. (Israel Aerospace Industries)

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is targeting its Tactical Heron (also known as T-Heron) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for use with manoeuvring forces who face constraints not experienced by operators of larger platforms.

Speaking to Janes at Eurosatory 2022 in Paris, Orna Shemesh, director of marketing and sales for IAI's military aircraft group, described T-Heron as offering operators “around two-thirds of the capability” of the Heron medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAS, pointing to the T-Heron's service ceiling of 23,000 ft compared with 30,000 ft in the Heron, and that the smaller aircraft has around half of the payload capacity.

The T-Heron was unveiled in June 2019 ahead of the Paris Air Show and is the newest and smallest member of the Heron family.

Shemesh said the aircraft benefits from the architecture and development work that has gone into the Heron family, including advanced capabilities that are not expected in a tactical platform, such as automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) and point-and-click flight control rather than piloting via a stick.

Shemesh said that the T-Heron has been developed to operate from unprepared and shorter runways, and as such has a stronger undercarriage and landing gear, for example. It has also been designed to operate with a smaller footprint – logistics and manning – and for in-field maintenance.

Shemesh said that IAI recognised that some customers operating at the tactical level desired vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities. However, the company views that as a different market space to that which the T-Heron is targeting.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...