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July 27, 2020 9:30 am

German Drone’s Israel Test Flight Hailed as ‘Historic Phase’ in Jerusalem-Berlin Ties

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German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (r) embraces his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin at a Holocaust commemoration session in the Bundestag. Photo: Reuters/Axel Schmidt. – The German Heron TP UAV aircraft finished its first test flight in Israel, the Ministry of Defense reported on Sunday, calling the event “a significant and historic phase in the strategic cooperation” between Jerusalem and Berlin.

According to the report, the flight is the result of an agreement, signed in June 2018, between the defense ministries of the two countries. The agreement outlines the leasing, maintenance and training services of the medium-altitude, long-endurance, multi-mission drone, based on the Israeli “Eitan” UAV that is in operational use in the Israeli Air Force. The German Heron TP UAV was modified in record time and incorporates advanced Israeli technology.

German Air Force personnel thus are training with their Israeli counterparts in an IAF base in central Israel. The training is part of a joint program of the UAV Executive Office in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development of the Israeli Defense Ministry, the Israel Aerospace Industries and Airbus DS Airborne Solutions, an Airbus Group company.

UAV Executive Office head Col. (Res.) C. stated: “Despite the various challenges we faced, including those brought by the corona[virus] pandemic, we are on schedule. This is thanks to the collaboration and great work done by elements of Germany[‘s] and Israel’s defense establishments.”

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