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Project Noctua & the Heron UAV - Interim capability to support Afghanistan Ops

TCBF

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- Well, if the HVT was H enough, The Model Airplane Club could always fly the UAV into him, right?  They all get flown into the ground eventually anyway...

8)
 
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Don2wing

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The Germens have picked the Heron TP UAV:

System for Bundeswehr Programme SAATEG
 
 
(Source: Rheinmetall Defence; issued June 2, 2008)
 
 
 

Rheinmetall and IAI have teamed to offer the Heron TP reconnaissance UAV for the German Army’s SAATEG program. (IAI photo)Rheinmetall Defence and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have announced their new cooperation agreement on the marketing of the Heron TP UAV reconnaissance system for long-range operations in the Bundeswehr programme SAATEG (“imaging surveillance system for the depth of the deployment theatre”) during the Berlin Air Show ILA 2008. This programme has the task of contributing towards a comprehensive situational awareness within the scope of networked command & control, both over land and on the high seas or at the coasts.

At present, the German armed forces do not yet have a MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) drone system that can be deployed for missions abroad in all the corresponding environmental conditions worldwide and on a 24/7 basis. The key requirements for the new system are capabilities for wide-area, real-time surveillance and situation reconnaissance, target acquisition and battle damage assessment – including object and target tracking – as well as competence for precise identification.

The German need must be met in the near-term, i.e. the initial operating capability (IOC) is already planned for 2010.

For this programme, Rheinmetall Defence and IAI are offering the long-range UAV system “Heron TP” – an advancement of the proven Heron system. Heritage of more than 400,000 UAV flight hours and 30 years of operational experience by 35 customers were implemented in the design and the development of the Heron TP.

The Heron TP incorporates the latest technologies to meet today’s operational needs of ISTAR forces. Designed as a Multi-payload, Multi-mission platform to answer the requirements of the Israeli Air Force, the HERON TP presents a versatile robust, “all weather “capable MALE UAV system which complies with the SAATEG requirements of the German Armed Forces.

Developed in the framework of an Israeli Ministry Of Defence (IMOD) program several UAV’s were already manufactured and tested and it is ready now for serial production.

The Heron TP system meets the requirements specified by the Bundeswehr without any restrictions and, in addition, offers a number of major advantages. In the sensor area, it is equipped with the latest technology and offers a high degree of mission flexibility and considerable growth potential – especially with regard to payload. As a result, the system will make a significant contribution to the safety of the German soldiers in the operational area.

Rheinmetall Defence will be responsible for the complete ground infrastructure, ground control unit, interface to existing command & control infrastructures (“Germanization” of the system) and the entire logistics area.

The companies Rheinmetall Defence and IAI have already been cooperating successfully for some time now in other areas, e.g. the Bundeswehr programme WABEP (“weapon system for standoff-capable engagement of single and pin point targets”) and for the conversion of Boeing 747 passenger planes to cargo aircraft. This strong alliance offers further opportunities for the advancement of a joint technology basis, amongst other things, in the field of unmanned flight systems and Airborne Systems.


One of the most respected and best-known names in the international defence and security industry, Rheinmetall Defence is the defence technology arm of the globe-spanning Rheinmetall Group of Düsseldorf, Germany. Rheinmetall Defence has some 7,000 employees worldwide and generates annual sales of approximately EUR 1.8 billion.

IAI is a major aerospace company and Israel’s largest industrial corporation, with more than 14,500 employees. As Architects of integrated UAV system solutions, MALAT is the leader of IAI’s UAV endeavor and is one of the world’s most experienced unmanned air vehicle system manufacturers. MALAT, through extensive international teaming, manages comprehensive system development, integration and manufacturing of UAV systems that fulfill the interoperability, commonality, and connectivity requirements that users anticipate.

-ends
 

TrexLink

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$100M contract for drones quietly awarded
Controversy sparked over changes to tendering guidelines


Allison Lampert
Canwest News Service
Wednesday, July 16, 2008


FARNBOROUGH, England - The federal government has quietly chosen the winner of a $100-million contract to supply critical unmanned drones to Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

However, the choice of the winner -- MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. and Israeli Air Industries Ltd. -- is sparking controversy in Canadian aerospace circles because the tendering guidelines were changed midway through the bidding.

While competitors were initially asked to demonstrate proof of past experience, that requirement was later dropped, industry sources said.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the tender was conducted in a "competitive and transparent way" and a winner would be announced shortly.

"The bidding process itself is meant to attract as many bidders as we can," said Mr. MacKay, while attending the Farnborough Air Show. "Obviously, this is a very important capability. The transportation of people and goods to various forward operating bases is a critical capability that we want to secure as quickly as possible."

Unmanned aerial vehicles are desperately needed to replace the Canadian Forces' aging Sperwar drones.

The UAVs are used in theatre to spy on insurgents. A key use is the tracking of improvised explosive devices -- the biggest killer of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.

Miki Bar, special adviser to the CEO of Israeli Air Industries, said he was delighted with Canada's choice of his company's Heron UAV over the Hermes 450 drone put forward by L-3 Communications MAS (Canada) Inc. and Elbit Systems Ltd. of Israel.

Mr. Bar said Canada simply chose the better bid, which would provide around six UAVs. He wouldn't entertain speculation that the change in criteria benefited the Heron, which is used by Israel, India and Turkey.

A contract with Canada is a boon for Israeli Air Industries, which wants to increase sales in the North American market.

"I am not part of any speculation," he said. "We have a smart customer; they know what they want."


But rival Elbit said its chances were hurt since the company works with Thales U.K. supplying Hermes 450 drones to the British army in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We felt we had a very good solution for Canada. We are actually doing this in the U.K. where we are operating very successfully, so this was a disadvantage for us, to say the least," said Danny Israeli, Elbit vice-president of business development and marketing. "We are waiting for the Canadian government to debrief us as soon as possible."

"We are very disappointed," added L-3 MAS president Sylvain Bédard. "We are urging Elbit to keep all their options open."

Mr. MacKay couldn't explain the change in the bidding criteria.

"I don't get into the technical details," he said. "I leave that, obviously, to the experts in the air force and rely on their advice. There was a lot of technical requirements to be met. It was a competitive process. It was transparent. The information will be made available when all the contracts are announced."

Link to photos and specs:  www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/aircraft/uav/heron/Heron.html
 

Sub_Guy

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New kit is always nice, although I would have liked to see the Predator sitting outside.
 
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aesop081

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Dolphin_Hunter said:
New kit is always nice, although I would have liked to see the Predator sitting outside.

Predator was never going to happen. We got a decent one out of this deal and it was the one we all expected.
 

Sub_Guy

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CDN Aviator said:
We got a decent one out of this deal and it was the one we all expected.

For sure, its actually exciting, it will be nice to have these things over there helping our fellow brothers/sisters out, should also prove beneficial for Sovereignty patrols. 

It is annoying though that every contract news article seems to have a negative headline attached to it.  Almost seems like the media wants to generate controversy with absolutely everything the military does.
 

dimsum

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Interesting...new platform for Air Navs!  Now if they can only tell us where they will be based...  ::)
 

NCRCrow

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CU-161 ALTAIR should have been the winner.

Another SPERWER/LUNA disaster approaching...mark my words! (Dark days of my ISTAR time in Kabul)

Pay the big bucks! Have an established system such as the PRED B (parts/training/support)

my opinion of the Heron..Garbage and more waste of cash.
 
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aesop081

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HFXCrow said:
Pay the big bucks! Have an established system such as the PRED B (parts/training/support)

Let it go Crow. Canada couldnt have gotten the Pred-B even if it wanted to. Complete production is spoken for.
 

Sub_Guy

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HFXCrow said:
CU-161 ALTAIR should have been the winner.

Another SPERWER/LUNA disaster approaching...mark my words! (Dark days of my ISTAR time in Kabul)

Pay the big bucks! Have an established system such as the PRED B (parts/training/support)

my opinion of the Heron..Garbage and more waste of cash.

Sure the name Heron isn't too great, but from what I am reading I can't really find any real negative points, but my experience level with UAV's is even less than that of the local geek at my local "The Source".  So I don't know what to look for when shopping for an UAV.

Way too early for me to form an opinion on it, I will await word from those who get hands on experience with it.  Or when I get hands on experience with it.

If we can get decent kit at a decent price then we should go for it.

Stupid question, are we getting the Heron 1 or Heron 2?
 

Retired AF Guy

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HFXCrow said:
CU-161 ALTAIR should have been the winner.

Another SPERWER/LUNA disaster approaching...mark my words! (Dark days of my ISTAR time in Kabul)

Pay the big bucks! Have an established system such as the PRED B (parts/training/support)

my opinion of the Heron..Garbage and more waste of cash.

Please explain why you think that the purchase of the Heron UAV would be a disaster.
 

SeaKingTacco

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For sure, its actually exciting, it will be nice to have these things over there helping our fellow brothers/sisters out, should also prove beneficial for Sovereignty patrols. 

No.  There is another UAV project still on the books for the "permanent" UAV solution for the CF- one that will give service both overseas and in Canada.  This particular UAV is meant only to get us through Afghanistan.  Hopefully, by 2012-2014 we will have the final product on the ramp.
 

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HFXCrow said:
Pay the big bucks! Have an established system such as the PRED B (parts/training/support)

Preds or Reapers would have been awesome, however General Atomics (manufacturer of Pred) pulled out of the bidding process in May. Only link I could find was a registration required article at Canadian Defense Review. So even if we wanted Pred, like so many intelligence folks I worked with overseas, we can't buy them if the company won't sell them to us.

With our lack of air assets overseas, I think we should have held out for a platform that can carry some precision strike muntions. Reaper is invaluable for spot, indentify, kill of insurgents trying to do bad things to our troops overseas.
 

Retired AF Guy

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PuckChaser said:
With our lack of air assets overseas, I think we should have held out for a platform that can carry some precision strike muntions. Reaper is invaluable for spot, indentify, kill of insurgents trying to do bad things to our troops overseas.

Correct me If I'm wrong, but I seem to remember a news conference awhile back where some seniormMilitary types said that there is no way the Cdn military will be arming their UAV assets?
 
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aesop081

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PuckChaser said:
With our lack of air assets overseas, I think we should have held out

Our mandate in Afghanistan will be long over before we would get our turn for the MQ-9 reaper.
 

PuckChaser

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The asset will still be useful after Afghanistan, I don't think we bought Leo2s just to get rid of them after we're done. Then again, governments have done odder things.
 
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aesop081

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PuckChaser said:
I don't think we bought Leo2s just to get rid of them after we're done.

NOCTUA is only intended to get us through Afghanistan. That is why the program is contractor-heavy. The furure UAV program for domestic and expeditionary operations is still in the works for after 2011.
 
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