Military Review

Australia continues to use the Heron I UAV in Afghanistan

Australia continues to use the Heron I UAV in Afghanistan

The Heron UAVs are deployed at the Kandahar Air Base (Afghanistan) and at the Wumerra test site in South Australia, where operators heading for Afghanistan are trained.

Despite the withdrawal of coalition forces from Afghanistan, the Heron I unmanned aerial vehicle, deployed by the Heron Australian unit of the same name, will continue to provide invaluable information (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) to coalition forces operating in Afghanistan for at least the entire 2014. Created by Israel Aerospace Industries, Heron I is leased and used by Canadian company MDA.

In November, the 2013 of the Australian division of Heron marked a significant event: the drone’s flying time was twenty thousand hours. Remotely piloted aircraft RPV Heron (new name for unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV) spend in the air from 400 to 500 hours per month, performing long flights at medium altitudes. They are able to be in the air for more than 24 hours with a maximum speed of more than 180 km / h at an altitude of up to 10000 meters.

According to sources in the Royal Australian Air Force, the decision to extend Heron’s mission is related to the conclusion of a contract with a new client, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) of the Regional South Command. The Heron unit will continue to be based at the Kandahar air base in Afghanistan at the request of the ISAF, directed to the Australian government.

Heron returns to Kandahar after completing an intelligence mission.

Heron Payload Management Operator Captain aviation Zalie Munro-Rustean at the ground control station at Kandahar airbase, 2011. Photo: Paul Berry

Previously, Heron provided intelligence information exclusively Australian forces operating in Uruzgan. Now they will support the coalition forces operating in southern Afghanistan. The Heron division intends to return to Australia by the end of 2014.

Unlike small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Heron remotely piloted aircraft weighing 1100 kg operates from the runway along with other manned aircraft. Australian Heron is based in Kandahar, the busiest airfield with one runway in the world. To ensure the safe and effective operation of the apparatus at such a busy aerodrome for piloting the Heron, the Air Force uses military pilots who have experience in difficult and dynamic air conditions.

Army helicopters, F / A-18, F-111, AP-3C Orion and C-130J Hercules pilots from August 2009 of the year control Heron unmanned aerial vehicles. Heron pilots are supported by payload operators (sensors), who also act as second Heron pilots.

In addition, up to seven people are busy processing, analyzing and distributing information from Heron's sensors. Attendants may include flight technicians, an intelligence department, operations officers, engineering staff, administration and logistics representatives.

In November 2013, the Royal Australian Air Force brought the drone's raid in Afghanistan to twenty thousand hours. In this photo, the commander of the unit Heron, captain Tony McCormack (Tony McCormack) is on a par with his subordinates. Each unit of Heron consists of about 30 people and is based at Kandahar air base in southern Afghanistan.

1, March, 2, March 2014, the celebration of the centenary of military aviation at the Williams Point Cook airbase. Among the popular attractions at the exhibition was a remote-controlled aircraft Heron, located in the hangar.

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  1. agent
    agent 20 March 2014 08: 46
    Combat sortie to a peaceful settlement - "mission" ...
    1. Professor
      20 March 2014 10: 01
      Quote: agent
      Combat sortie to a peaceful settlement - "mission" ...

      This unit is a scout.
      1. agent
        agent 21 March 2014 08: 54
        the scout agrees, why then do bombs hang on the UAV?
  2. ivanovbg
    ivanovbg 20 March 2014 11: 44
    I liked the article, interesting and informative. But the device itself somehow looks awkward, the design of US analogues looks an order of magnitude more functional from the side, although I'm not an aviator.
  3. Peacemaker
    Peacemaker 20 March 2014 13: 18
    An interesting device. And what prevents the remote control equipment to put on conventional aircraft? Put the pilots in the computer dis. cabin and let them fly. In my opinion, in the USSR it was planned to remake old planes in UAVs
    1. Professor
      20 March 2014 13: 22
      Quote: Peacemaker
      And what prevents the remote control equipment to put on conventional aircraft?

      Have already done.
  4. kafa
    kafa 20 March 2014 17: 21
    it’s a pity that we have only a lot of words and very little business. recourse where the pancake KB fell asleep or the pancake stealth from the pots cut. because Iranians from camel-donkey dung copy ov drones fool just to students from MAI to set a diploma in metal too! bad diploma in kirzachi wink
  5. beifall
    beifall 25 March 2014 15: 35
    Gaining experience!