Airbus will provide Heron 1 surveillance drones to the German military for use in their deployment to Mali as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
The drones will be leased from Israel Aerospace Industries and operated by Airbus, UPI reported Thursday.
The agreement for the drone leasing and support services came from the German Defense Procurement Agency BAAInBw and covers the initial 15-month deployment of German soldiers to Mali, which begins in November.
Mali is battling Tuareg rebels and Islamist militants. The IAI Heron 1 is a medium-altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle. It has a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour. A range of 217 miles and can carry a 550-pound payload.