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Arie Egozi

Test flights of the T-HERON Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have reached an advanced stage, according to an IAI official. The test flights are aimed at adjusting the new UAV to perform “complicated” missions carrying “multiple sensor” packages while the same official said the new version of the HERON is designed for high end tactical missions carried out by ground forces. The prototype is powered by a Rotax 912 ISC engine, but the official said the series production T-HERON may be powered by a different engine. The new version is designed to fly at altitudes of up to 24,000 feet, reach a speed of 120 knots while supporting four useful payloads concurrently with a total weight of up to 400 pounds. The T-HERON complies with global standards, including STANAG 4671 requirements, has a 1320 pounds Maximum Take-Off Weight and is equipped with a retractable nose landing gear, to allow any radar payload an unobstructed field of view. It also has a full automatic take-off and landing (ATOL) capability and may be fitted with an anti-icing system.