Germany could acquire soon medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned air vehicle (UAV) Heron TP manufactured by Israeli Company IAI that is able to carry air-to-surface missiles. This is the first time that German army (Bundeswehr) requests the use of drones that that can be weaponized.
Israeli-made IAI Heron TP at Paris Air Show in June 2009 (Picture source Wikipedia)
The German army (Bundeswehr) has requested around €900 million to lease five Heron TP UAVs from Israel over the next nine years. Germany has the needs to use that type of drones in Mali and Afghanistan for military operations in Mali and Afghanistan where they are deployed for international missions.
The Heron TP nicknamed Eitan MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is fully developed designed and manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) mainly to be used for reconnaissance and surveillance missions but can also be armed with surface-to-air missiles.
The Heron TP has a length of 14 meters, a wingspan of 26 meters and is capable of over 36 hours of continuous flight. It can reach an altitude of 12,500 meters maximum.
The Heron TP has a maximum payload of 1,000 kg with equipment carried under the fuselage as EO / IR / LRF electro-optical targeting system which incorporates infra-red and daylight cameras providing real-time vision of the battlefield under all lighting conditions. It can be also fitted with laser range finder to provide surveillance, reconnaissance, targeting and distance measurements.