2Excel Aviation and Israel Aerospace Industries demonstrated IAI’s Maritime Heron UAS to UK government and civilian observers
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and 2Excel Aviation have successfully completed a demonstration of IAI’s Maritime Heron UAS in a series of live, beyond visual line of sight maritime and ISR search scenarios. The demonstration was based at West Wales Airport in Aberporth, Wales. In-person and virtual observers from the UK Ministry of Defence, government and the civilian sector attended the demonstration. Following the demo, IAI and 2Excel received positive feedback from UK Civil
The UAS Heron was ready to fly within 36 hours of arriving in West Wales and maintained full serviceability for the duration of the deployment. The UAS Heron achieved 100% of its predicted scenarios, despite harsh seasonal weather conditions. The system has proven to be highly capable in missions such as search and rescue, border protection, fisheries patrol, maritime security, small boat detection and surveillance, and other activities.
In-person participants were able to make requests from the system, which were relayed live to the ground
Control Station (GCS) during the presentation. Rule-based scenarios have also been demonstrated via IAIs
Starlight data mining tool, which received input from the Heron UAS multi-mission radar, EO/IR
sensor and AIS. Points of interest were then generated using Starlight’s artificial intelligence (AI) and data
processing engine to produce actionable intelligence, information and maritime awareness. Data collected
was simultaneously released to in-person and virtual participants using IAI’s data release tool
(Commander’s Remote Imaging Situational Image – CRISP).
Moshe Levy, IAI Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Military Aircraft Group, said:
“The resounding success of the Heron throughout the demonstration is due to an efficiency and
cooperation with IAI’s world-class partner at 2Excel. This demonstration signifies the growing link between IAI and UK industry. The Heron UAS is a state-of-the-art, world-class system, combined with IAI’s supporting data collection and analysis technology, which provides the customer with tailor-made solutions. I’m sure this demonstration will lead to future endeavors and I hope to see the Heron flying in the UK skies again soon.
Andy Offer, co-founder and director of 2Excel Aviation, said: “2Excel and IAI have together demonstrated
they can operate a very capable MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) rig in the UK in the
constraints of the current regulatory environment. This is another shining example of our ability to
well the difficult things.
Feedback from the UK Civil Aviation Authority has been very positive and we are confident about the roadmap for future unmanned operations in our suite of contract air services.