Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced export-version of its long-range Heron TP unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can be sold to members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) under Category II, which covers propulsion components and equipment.
IAI said on 9 February that the UAV would be displayed at the Aero India 2017 show, held from 14-18 February in Bengaluru.
"The export version Heron, TP XP is similar to the Heron TP UAV except the fact that the export version has been re-engineered to limit its payload to 450 kg, rather than the 1,000 kg that the Israeli Air Force’s Heron TP can carry," Shaul Shahar, the general manager at IAI’s Military Aircraft Group was quoted as saying by IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.
However, even those who are not members of MTCR can buy these UAVS, shahar added.
The Heron TP-XP “constitutes a multi-mission, multi-payload strategic aircraft” capable of operating in extreme weather conditions.
In the past, IAI has supplied the Indian armed forces with its earlier, smaller Heron 1 UAV, and New Delhi was keen to obtain the TP model.
Israel is not a member of the regime, which aims to restrict the proliferation of missile technology, but has agreed to export its strategic weapon systems only to member countries.
The Heron TP is currently heavily deployed for various missions to all the Israeli defence forces branches. It has been even selected by the German air force for its surveillance UAV requirement. The UAV has a 40h endurance, maximum take-off weight of 5,300kg (11,685lb). It weighs around 5 tonnes.