Greece leases drones from Israel to guard the border

The Israeli company Aerospace Industries (IAI) leases Maritime Heron drones to Greece for a period of three years, with the possibility of purchasing the system at the end of the lease period. IAI statementpublished last week.

The contract with Greece provides for the possibility of lease-to-purchase. Under this contract, IAI will lease Maritime Herons to Greece for a period of three years, with the option of purchasing the system at the end of the lease period.

The Heron drones are equipped with day and night reconnaissance systems, maritime patrol radars and satellite communications. They are used for maritime patrols, maritime and land border protection, search and rescue, disaster management, and more.

It is expected that leasing the Heron UAV by FRONTEX will cost tens of millions of euros. In accordance with this contract signed with IAI and Airbus, FRONTEX pays for the operating hours of the flight.

The program can be expanded to more sites, for example, in Spain or Portugal, depending on the requirements of the host countries and FRONTEX.

The contracts for the first operating bases in Malta and Greece were signed in 2021 to finance the aircraft and associated ground segment at each site.

The choice of FRONTEX for IAI Maritime Heron has enabled the organization to use many of the sensors found on manned aircraft, such as the ELM2022 Marine Surveillance Radar and Elta Systems Automatic Identification System (AIS) devices that track ships on their route at sea, as well as high definition electro-optical devices. payloads for identifying and recognizing vessels and other targets detected by radar and other sensors.

The choice of the drone was facilitated by IAI’s unique “Long Runner” capability, which allows the Maritime Heron to land and take off from remote locations without preparation, and can be used to meet new challenges defined by FRONTEX.

IN a statement Maritime Herons drones are said to have already been leased to Canada, Australia, Spain and Germany, and are the leading international UAV operator in Afghanistan, backing coalition forces with Searcher and Heron UAVs.

Technical details Maximum take-off weight 1270 kg. Payload weight up to 470 kg. Full length 8.5 m. Wingspan 16.6 m. Airborne up to 45 hours. Range: LOS> 350 km. Range: BLOS> 1000 km. Flight altitude> 11 km. Patrol speed 60-80 km / h. The maximum speed is 140 km / h. …

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