IAI establishes protocols for technology transfer for RPAS
Posted on May 20, 2021

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is proud of its record of creating strong relationships with Canadian companies, both large and small. IAI has supported a variety of military procurements that have significantly increased Canada’s safety and security. These strong commercial bonds make IAI an ideal partner to Canadian primes in delivering Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITBs) designed to create domestic jobs, innovation, and economic growth in Canada.

IAI is the largest defence and aerospace company in Israel. With 15,000 employees, the company is the leader in new technology development and patent registration in Israel. Living in a tough neighborhood means that IAI must provide cutting edge technologies and solutions for air, land, sea, cyber, and space. Some of these key products and technologies include Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) based on the proven Heron family of products, radars and electronic intelligence, satellite and space systems, as well as missiles and loitering munitions.  

IAI’s technologies have made significant contributions to Canada’s defence sector over the last decade. From providing Canadian surveillance and reconnaissance capability in Afghanistan with the Heron UAV, to equipping Canadian maritime surveillance with radar products, IAI has created strategic partnerships with several leading Canadian defence contractors. More recently, IAI is offering its latest generation Heron TP to L3Harris as part of Team Artemis for the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) program. Through technology transfer, the Team Artemis RPAS can be built and maintained in Canada by Canadians as IAI continues to demonstrate its commitment to building a robust defence sector in Canada.

IAI has established proven protocols for technology transfer that commercial and national partners appreciate for the flexibility and control it gives to a program.  With IAI’s technology transfer approach, the Canadian RPAS program, for example, would have the aircraft built in Canada by Canadians and without ITAR restrictions, Canada would retain full mission sovereignty.  IAI believes that its commitment to full technology transfer in procurement programs offers a competitive advantage to primes seeking to maximize their ITB offering to the Canadian government.

The RPAS program, is not the only example of IAI working in tandem with Canadian companies in the area of technology transfer. One of IAI’s groups – ELTA Systems Ltd. provided strategic radar solutions to Canada’s Beechcraft King Air, De Havilland Dash 8 aircraft, and to the RCAF’s new C-295 Fixed Wing Search and Rescue aircraft. IAI – ELTA has also provided its world leading medium range radar to Canada’s army in partnership with Rheinmetall Canada. A key part of these programs includes the investment in Canada’s economy to create sustainment, logistics support, and depot repair and overhaul centers that ensure Canada’s long-term operational support requirements can be fulfilled in-country, and exported from Canada.  

IAI - ELTA’s medium range radar, built and maintained by Rheinmetall Canada in Quebec, is now being offered as an export from Canada to international customers and had their first major win of a large scale radar integration program in Hungary. This radar is one of IAI – ELTA’s most popular  radars  and was developed by the company as part of Israel’s renowned “Iron Dome”  air defense solution and is part of IAI’s well known combat proven Barak MX air defense system.  IAI is rightly proud of its excellent reputation as an ITB partner for Canadian companies and will continue to work to increase its industry partnerships.

For several years, IAI has maintained commercial relationships with many small and medium sized Canadian companies which produce radar and aircraft components in the company’s global supply chain. These partnerships increase the international profile and knowledge of Canada’s Defence Industrial Base while broadening IAI’s offerings – clearly a win-win for all concerned.

Efficient technology transfer is an important part of IAI’s philosophy underpinning the company’s approach to global delivery and service. IAI believes that this approach has helped to enhance Canada’s defence industry by increasing its technological expertise, expanding exports, and providing access to global markets. With IAI’s technology transfer program, Canadian companies are ready and able to equip and sustain a platform for Canada’s defence needs. In return, Canadian ingenuity provides a substantial return on investment to IAI’s product lines.

IAI is very pleased to be part of the ongoing success of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) signed in 2019 and also the Canada-Israel Agreement on Bilateral Cooperation in Industrial Research and Development, last renewed in 2017. Such agreements make technology transfer not only good business, but good policy.

As IAI interacts with innovative Canadian industrial partners, the transfer of technology and expertise goes both ways and creates synergies that benefit both countries paving the way for even greater cooperation and global success stories.

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Canadian Polar Icebreakers gets green light
Posted on May 7, 2021

When the federal government announced plans in August 2008 for a new Polar-class icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper said it was expected to cost $720 million as the country pushed to assert its presence in the Arctic.

On 6 May 2021, the Trudeau government announced that it has resurrected plans for two vessels – to be built by Seaspan Yard in Vancouver and Davie Shipbuilding of Lévis, Quebec – but project costs were not part of the equation. That evidently is subject to further negotiations.

A 2013 federal budget estimate by the Harper administration put the costs of two ships at $1.3 billion, but inflation – coupled with increases in labour and material costs in the intervening years – likely will push the ultimate bill closer to $2 billion.

Early estimates are that construction of the two icebreakers will generate some 300 jobs at each yard as well as 2,500 across the marine supply chain. Whatever the cost, it will be atop $17.49 billion in contracts already awarded to shipyards for a range of smaller vessels, which the government says has already revitalized the industry.

An initial contract for one icebreaker was awarded to Seaspan in 2011 as a key element of the National Shipbuilding Stratgegy (NSS). The goal was to have the vessel, to be named the CCGS John D. Diefenbaker, in service by 2017. It would replace the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, which was built by Canadian Vickers in Montreal, commissioned in 1969 and extensively refitted with a view to keeping it in service through this decade, the largest in a fleet of 18 icebreakers which service mainly the Great Lakes and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

However, sundry delays resulted in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s withdrawal of the Seaspan contract in mid-2019 and a new request for industry proposals in the hope of having a ship in service by late 2029. That left the politically-contentious project in limbo yet again as concerns continued to mount about Canada’s Arctic capabilities.

In announcing the project’s revival, the government said in its official statement that increasing commercial traffic and other activity, much of it due to a longer navigation season made possible by global warming “all highlighted Canada’s need for a renewed Coast Guard fleet.”

At 150 metres length overall with a beam of 28m, the icebreakers are expected to top 18 knots and have a cruising speed range of 30,000 nautical miles with 100 crew and scientific personnel. The new icebreakers will be designed to operate farther north, in more difficult ice conditions and for longer periods than earlier Canadian icebreakers.

The government’s announcement was a geographically-select group effort in that it involved Nova Scotia MP Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries & Oceans and the CCG; Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez in his capacity as the government’s Quebec Lieutenant; and B.C. MP Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment & Climate Change.

They said the new approach, with concurrent construction by each yard, would ensure at least one icebreaker is delivered by 2030. “With their enhanced capabilities, these larger, more powerful Polar icebreakers will enable the Coast Guard to conduct year-round operations in Canada’s Arctic,” the ministers said. “Their greater endurance will ensure they can operate at higher latitudes for longer periods, and will allow the fleet to better support […] northerners, strengthen Arctic sovereignty, advance high Arctic science, and better respond to maritime emergencies.”

Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), Seaspan delivered its first state-of-the-art Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV) to the Canadian Coast Guard in 2019 and completed the first full class of these vessels in 2020.

On 9 October 2020, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, along with Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, welcomed the newly-built Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CGGS) John Cabot, to the Coast Guard fleet. Delivery of this third and final Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV), along with the acceptance of the CCGS Sir John Franklin and  CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier in 2019, completed the first class of large ships built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Under the NSS, Seaspan has become a major economic and job creation engine. As of December 2019, the shipyard had contributed more than $1.5 billion dollars to Canada’s GDP and directed nearly $1B in contracts to more than 670 suppliers from coast to coast. (Source: Deloitte Socioeconomic Impact Study

Seaspan recently cut steel and started construction of Canada’s most modern ocean research ship, the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel. The company continues to award contracts to Canadian businesses across the country, recently surpassing $1B in contracts on the Joint Support Ship program alone.


As part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), the Government of Canada has announced that Seaspan Shipyards (Seaspan) will design and build a Polar Icebreaker, the flagship of the Canadian Coast Guard’s icebreaking fleet. The new ship construction program, which will sustain approximately 1,400 jobs at Seaspan’s Vancouver shipyard and 1,400 additional jobs in the marine industry across the country, is welcome and timely news for Seaspan employees and its cross-Canada supply chain. Work on the program is set to begin immediately upon the award of a contract.

With Canada’s current largest icebreaker, CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, due to retire at the end of the decade after 60 years of service, there is an urgent need to begin work on the multi-year replacement program. The new icebreaker will be the largest ship in the Coast Guard fleet and will play a critical role in enabling the Canadian Coast Guard to patrol and protect 243,000 km of coastline – the longest national coastline in the world. Nearly 70% of that coastline is in the Arctic, a region of increasing interest from other countries and a growing national priority for Canada. The multi-mission ship will also provide vital resupply to Arctic communities, support Arctic science, help ensure the free flow of trade and safe commercial shipping, and conduct search and rescue and environmental response.

Seaspan is set to work with Canada’s marine industry leaders, including Genoa Design International in Newfoundland and Labrador and Heddle Shipyards in Ontario, along with hundreds of small and medium Canadian companies. Bringing to bear a cross-Canada approach, the Polar Icebreaker program is expected to grow Canadian businesses, tap into talent and capability across the country, and create and sustain good jobs.

In line with the economic and industrial development objectives of the NSS to build and strengthen Canada’s marine sector, a recent study has indicated that for every dollar spent on the NSS at Seaspan, a dollar is added to Canada’s GDP.

The icebreaker, Seaspan’s fourth class of NSS vessel, will be constructed at the company’s Vancouver shipyard, a high-capacity multi-program yard that is one of the most modern and efficient in North America and was purpose-built to deliver Canada’s largest and most complex ships. The Polar Icebreaker will be built concurrently with the second Joint Support Ship for the Royal Canadian Navy, the largest naval vessel by length ever to be built in Canada, and the largest and most advanced ocean science research ship for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Latest Heron TP advancements meet Canada’s RPAS needs
Posted on Apr 27, 2021

As Canada finalizes its preparation for the release of the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Request for Proposal (RFP), Team Artemis is stepping up. The IAI Heron TP, chosen by Germany and the platform of choice by L3Harris Canada for Canada’s RPAS program, is advancing through the German airworthiness certification process with compliance expected by mid-2021. Germany selected the Heron TP in 2018 in a competitive process and will take delivery of the first platform this summer. The German Heron TP marks a significant step forward in the evolution of Heron TP’s capabilities and will provide several enhancements ideally suited for Canadian RPAS requirements. Firstly, the addition of an anti-icing capability to allow operations in cold weather climates, and secondly, a Sense-And-Avoid (SAA) capability to support operation in civilian airspace.

Like Canada, Germany requires their next generation Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) RPAS to be fully certified under the NATO Standardized Agreement (STANAG) 4671 UAV airworthiness standards where the certification program is led by Airbus, under the German Military Aviation Authority (GMAA). In meeting STANAG 4671, the German certification program ensures the risk to the Canadian RPAS program is low and that Canada’s Initial Operating Capability (IOC) date can be easily achieved. IAI plans to deliver the first aircraft by mid-2021, in time for the scheduled induction of the Heron TP into operational service with the German Air Force.

Photo: Israel Air Force

The Heron TP variant being offered to Canada is more capable and more powerful than the current Israeli variant. The aircraft is powered by the reliable Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine which has demonstrated high performance through extensive operations on other aircraft throughout Canada and in the Arctic. Furthermore, new Sense-And-Avoid features are integrated into this variant, adding new levels of safety when flying in open airspace. Able to operate at an altitude up to 45,000 ft, the Heron TP can safely fly above civilian air traffic. The higher operating altitude also increases its Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) area coverage by leveraging its powerful multi-spectral sensor array. As an open-standards ISR platform, the Heron TP can be integrated with other systems for best utilization with military, national, and coalition assets. An earlier Heron 1 variant’s interoperability was demonstrated by five NATO user nations, including Canada, during the Afghanistan War.

Through the past decade, the Heron TP proved itself in extensive operational service with the Israeli Air Force, flying tens of thousands of missions throughout the region. Based on three decades of development and accumulated operational experience, its technological maturation now provides automation and autonomy capabilities that enable operators an unsurpassed level of flexibility. These include the ability to fly missions completely autonomously, takeoff and land autonomously from degraded runway locations, and operate the aircraft from remote fields with minimal ground support. These autonomous capabilities significantly increase its operational flexibility for the Canadian RPAS program. Extending the Israeli Heron TP operational experience combined with that of the German Air Force and other user nations will provide a valuable user network for Canadian RPAS training, deployment and lessons learned.

The Heron TP’s design is ideal for operation in the most challenging Canadian environments. Flights in the far north and on the maritime coasts require robust, rugged aerial platforms to fly in high winds and inclement weather. The Heron TP, powered by the formidable PT6 1,200-shaft horsepower turboprop engine, has a superior rate of climb, allowing it to operate more reliably in and through inclement weather. Equally, the twin boom design of the Heron TP provides greater stability while transiting and operating in Canada’s adverse climate conditions. As a result of years of combat experience, the IAI engineers designed multi-level redundancy into the platform so there is no single point of failure.  All these features ensure high reliability that enhances mission readiness and operational availability for the RCAF.

The Heron TP is the most advanced, capable MALE platform in the market today. Its robust, operationally proven design, ideal for Canadian climate conditions in the arctic and maritime environments, combined with an extensive, NATO-interoperable ISR capability and Sense-And-Avoid technology assures that Canada and the RCAF will receive the best available RPAS for its mission needs. A Canadian Heron TP delivered by Team Artemis, led by L3Harris Canada, raises the bar for RPAS capability for RCAF operational missions and underpins Canada’s long-term development of a Remotely Piloted Systems and Autonomous Technologies industrial sector.

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Airbus qualified as bidder for Canada’s strategic tankers
Posted on Apr 2, 2021

Government of Canada has qualified Airbus as a bidder for the Strategic Tanker Transport Capability (STTC) project for the Royal Canadian Air Force to replace its Airbus A310MRTT (CC-150 Polaris) multi-role tanker fleet.

The invitation to qualify (ITQ), released at the beginning of 2021, identified the Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft as capable of meeting the project’s requirements. The procurement process now moves to the next stage of the call for tender. A draft request for proposal (RFP) is expected in Q3 2021.

The STTC program looks to replace the RCAF CC-150 Polaris tanker fleet with a multirole aircraft capable of conducting a wide range of missions including NATO and NORAD operations, ranging from air-to-air refueling to strategic Government of Canada transport and aeromedical evacuation.

Simon Jacques, President of Airbus Defence and Space Canada, said: “The A330 MRTT is the only new generation, combat-proven, multirole tanker available. It is certified to operate with the majority of western receivers, including Canada’s current fighters, transport and mission aircraft.  With more than 250,000 flight hours in service with 13 nations, including key NATO allies and Five Eyes partners such as Australia and the United Kingdom.”

Active in several Canadian provinces, Airbus has approximately 3,800 employees across the country and sustains more than 23,000 indirect jobs in the aeronautics sector. Airbus works with over 665 suppliers in nine provinces, sourcing $1.8 billion CAD from Canadian companies.

All Airbus divisions are present in Canada with: commercial aircraft in Mirabel, Quebec; helicopters in Fort Erie, Ontario; and Airbus Defence and Space in Ottawa, Ontario. Airbus-owned subsidiaries, Stelia Aerospace and NAVBLUE also have installations in Canada. Air Pro, a joint-venture between Airbus and PAL Aerospace, located in Ottawa, provides in-service support to the Airbus C295 aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force Fixed Wing Search and Rescue (FWSAR) programme in Canada.

MBDA awarded first contract for Albatros NG system
Posted on Mar 3, 2021

MBDA has been awarded a first contract for Albatros NG, a brand new CAMM-ER based air defence system for naval applications.

This first order, from an undisclosed international customer, marks a further validation of the wide appeal of the CAMM air defence family on the global marketplace and paves the way to further acquisitions by the same customer and other Navies.

Albatros NG is a new generation Naval Based Air Defence (NBAD) system, based on the CAMM-ER, which is the extended range variant of the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) family already delivered to customers around the world for both ground based and naval air defence.

Under the terms of this recent order, Albatros NG will be in service in 2024. Albatros NG, deriving its name from the legacy Albatros systems which have been in service with the Italian Navy and several export customers for years, is suitable for different kinds of vessels providing air defence capability for platforms ranging from patrol vessels and corvettes to destroyers. It also allows a complementary layer for larger vessels such as frigates and destroyers already equipped with a long range air defence system. It can be easily integrated, without significant changes, in the ships’ design; its Command & Control (C2) is designed to enable flexible integration with both new and existing naval Combat Management Systems (CMS).

The CAMM-ER missile is capable of providing self and local area defence against the evolving airborne threat at ranges exceeding 40km; it will be integrated in the new ground based air defence systems for the Italian Army and Italian Air Force. CAMM family systems have already been delivered to the British Army, to the Royal Navy and to several export nations.

Air defence systems utilizing the CAMM and CAMM-ER missiles can provide armed forces with advanced protection against the ever-evolving air threat, including manned and unmanned aircraft, precision guided munitions, terrain-following/sea-skimming missiles, and low radar cross section (RCS) targets; all in the presence of the latest countermeasures.

MBDA, jointly owned by Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%), is the only European defence group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). With a significant presence in five European countries and the USA, in 2019 MBDA achieved revenue of 3.7 billion euros with an order book of 17.5 billion euros. In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development.

IAI continues technology transfer to Canada
Posted on Jan 14, 2021

Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) policy is designed to leverage defense and security procurements to create jobs and economic growth in Canada.

Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) is a long-time supplier of military technologies to Canada’s defense market, and has been investing in Canadian companies for over a decade. IAI has shared some of this technology and created strong relationships with local Canadian companies, both large and small, that have assisted in deploying successful military and security programs in Canada and abroad.

IAI is the largest defence and aerospace company in Israel. With more than 15,000 employees, IAI is the leader in new technology development and patent registration in Israel. The company provides cutting edge technologies and solutions for air, land, sea, cyber and space. Some key products and technology include remotely piloted vehicle systems based on its Heron family of products, radars and electronic intelligence, satellite and space systems, and missiles and loitering weapons.

IAI is constantly innovating and has expanded its expertise to the latest technology domains. Its three key divisions – Military Aircraft Group, ELTA Systems, and Missiles and Space Systems – specialize in technologies that have been instrumental to Canada’s defence sector over the last decade.  

From providing Canadian surveillance and reconnaissance capability in Afganistan with Heron unmanned aerial systems, to Canadian maritime surveillance with its radar products, IAI has created strategic partnerships with several leading Canadian defense contractors, transferring technology that is built and maintained in Canada by Canadians.

Strategic radar solutions have been provided by IAI's ELTA division to Canada’s Beechcraft King Air, De Havilland Dash 8 aircraft, and to Canada’s new C-295 Fixed Wing Search and Rescue aircraft. The company has also provided air defence capability to the Canadian Armyrmy with its popular medium-range radar. A key part of these programs include the investment and building of sustainment centers which are manned and maintained by Canadian defence companies.  

IAI-ELTA’s medium range radar is now built and maintained in Quebec, and is being considered as an export from Canada to international customers. Developed by IAI, this radar quickly became one of its most successful products as part of Israel’s renowned Iron Dome Defence solution.

Israeli Aerospace Industries continues its commitment of technology transfer to Canada

For several years, IAI has maintained cooperation with many small and medium sized Canadian companies which produce radar and aircraft components that are used in the IAI supply chain for products shipped world-wide. The company’s philosophy towards technology transfer has enhanced Canada’s defense sector by increasing technological expertise, military independence, and expanding exports by providing local companies access into new global markets.

IAI is committed to the Canadian market and to the successful bi-lateral arrangements between Israel and Canada, and the continued transfer of latest technology developments to Canadian industry enhances Canada’s sovereignty and contributes Canadian exports to the global supply chain.

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Germany to receive new logistics vehicles
Posted on Jan 6, 2021

Rheinmetall Group has announced they will be supplying the German Bundeswehr (unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities) with additional logistic vehicles. The total contract tops €500 million, with almost €390 million coming from Germany’s pandemic recovery package.

Germany’s Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-service Support, or BAAINBw, has placed an order with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) for a further 1,401 military trucks with a gross total value of €543 million.

The trucks come under the Bundeswehr rubric of Unprotected Transport Vehicles, or UTFs. Funding for the extra procurement of a thousand of these vehicles comes from the German federal government’s pandemic recovery package. Delivery is scheduled to take place in 2021 and 2022. A framework contract for the procurement of modern military trucks signed in July 2017, which originally envisaged the purchase of 2,271 vehicles, has now been augmented to enable procurement of a further 1,000 trucks, bringing the current total to 3,271 UTFs.

The current call from the original framework contract comprises a total of 292 5-tonne trucks and 109 15-tonne trucks. Including related services, the 401 vehicles in this call will total €154 million, including value added tax.

Delivery is to be complete by the end of 2021 and another 1,000 trucks – including 150 5-tonne vehicles and 850 15-tonne models – are expected to be purchased in 2021 and 2022. They represent sales of €389 million, including VAT. Funding will come from the German government’s economic recovery package, with delivery to be complete by the end of 2022.

Dedicated to the twin modern imperatives of security and mobility, the Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall Group is thus playing a significant role in modernizing the Bundeswehr’s fleet of logistic vehicles, which numbers thousands of trucks. Most of the principal components – including the engines, axles, transmissions and build-ons – are made in Germany; assembly of the vehicles takes place at the RMMV plant in Vienna.

Particularly when it comes to multinational operations, the wide use of RMMV vehicles offers major advantages when it comes to interoperability and logistics. Among others, the armed forces of the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark all rely today on trucks from Rheinmetall. Norway and Sweden have each placed substantial truck orders with RMMV as well.

IAI Innovation in unmanned aerial systems
Posted on Dec 21, 2020

Governments must rise to the domain awareness challenges of watching over vast territories to manage complex and varied missions, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have become the go-to solution for many reasons. Today, UAS taskings can range from sovereignty missions, to observing the effects of climate change, to patrolling borders and coastlines, and protecting troops in close combat – and must accomplish all this while flying longer missions, carrying heavier payloads, and reaching higher altitudes. 

To accomplish all of this and more, the IAI Heron family of multi-mission UAS has taken yet another technological leap forward. With the TP model, IAI has developed a larger, more capable, powerful and flexible platform that redefines what unmanned aerial systems are now capable of. 

“These capabilities demand high reliability and solid designs that address different operational needs and doctrines,” says Avi Bleser, Vice President Marketing and Sales at IAI’s Military Aircraft Group. “The experience we have gained in four decades of operations with more than 50 customers worldwide has shaped the ongoing evolution of the Heron family.” 

Optimum availability means deploying from high altitude runways, operating in temperature extremes from +45°C to –40°C, and through extreme weather, strong winds and heavy rain or snow, and across expansive territory. These capabilities make the Heron TP ideal for Canada, particularly in its vast Arctic region. 
Most recently, on 16 September 2020, the Heron made history by demonstrating its ability to land and takeoff at a major international airport alongside commercial flights using only satellite technology and its “Long Runner” operating system. This puts the Heron TP in a class by itself.

IAI began developing its Heron family 25 years ago, launching the first variant in 1994. It was a platform weighing 1.18 tons on takeoff, with a remarkable ceiling of 30,000 feet, propelled by an engine that enabled it to fly clandestine intelligence gathering missions without the distinctive ‘sawmill’ noise that other drones made. Highly flexible and adapted to a wide variety of missions, this platform was a revolutionary step forward. 

In 1998, the Heron Mk 1 introduced the world’s first multi-mission UAS. This version supported a payload which included an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sighting device, surveillance radar, signals intelligence (SIGINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) electronics surveillance and a broadband datalink to transmit sensor data to the ground control station. 

Optimized to support naval operations, the Maritime Heron was equipped with maritime search radar, Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver for ship identification and tracking, EO/IR and Electronic Support Measures (ESM). Using satellite communications to extend missions beyond the horizon, Maritime Herons often deploy on long-range patrols or in support of naval task forces utilizing shipborne forward mission control elements. The Heron has demonstrated its extensive adaptability and payload variety to suit a variety of mission needs. 

The Heron family continues to evolve to meet ever changing and more specific customer needs. The Heron TP is faster, larger, and higher-flying and can be tailored to meet any country’s unique requirements. Powered by a 1,200 hp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine, manufactured in Longueuil, Quebec, the Heron TP flies at 220 KTAS, more than twice the speed of the Mk 1. 

Despite being almost five times heavier, the Heron TP climbs faster – up to a ceiling of 45,000 feet, and can carry over one ton of payload, providing the highest power-to-weight ratio in its class. This powerful platform has been described as both a “beast in the sky” and an engineering beauty.

The TP’s modular building-block architecture makes it readily adaptable to different missions and varying national requirements, and provides security separation between the platform and the payload – enabling use by NATO and Five Eyes (FVEY) nations. To achieve this, it can be built, integrated, qualified and maintained in a host country, thus allowing continuous technological improvements by incorporating advanced C4ISR capabilities as technology progresses. Furthermore, the Heron TP provides ease of operations and maintenance that enables in-country sustainment through its life-cycle support. This modern architecture and enhanced sensor payloads are now used throughout the Heron family. 

Integration of other assets with the Heron TP is also part of its design, utilizing open architecture, communications protocols and information sharing to allow operation with the BirdEye 650D Small Tactical UAS and the Vertical Takeoff and Landing Panther family. 

Interoperability with NATO and FVEY standards combine with these design features to make the Heron TP among the most adaptable platforms available. Furthermore, as nations such as Germany have discovered, the ability to operate sovereign missions completely ITAR-free, and set and maintain national priorities, is the real strength of the Heron TP platform.

There is also the benefit of being part of the aircraft family. With SATCOM communications integrated, IAI Herons can now employ Long Runner to operate remotely in the air and on the ground, requiring minimal ground support at remote operating bases. The Long Runner is part of IAI’s centralized Mission Operation & Intelligence Centre (MOIC), supporting the operation of multiple Heron drones of different types, carrying various payloads, and operating at different distances and directions. MOIC provides an efficient integration of intelligence and situational perception, by flexibly allocating assets to support evolving situations and operational needs. The intelligence processing systems associated with the Heron family are also designed with powerful, semi-automatic target location, classification and designation workflow, optimizing the operator’s efficiency and capacity. 

In use throughout the world, the Heron family UAS have accumulated over 1,800,000 operational flight hours and have become the partner of choice for governments that need capability, reliability, and adaptability in a UAS platform. “The utilization has increased threefold over past generations,” notes Bleser. “Besides the robust and scalable system it provides, the exceptional operational experience and numerous technical variations have evolved to meet changing needs and have defined the Heron family as the undisputed leader in the UAS marketplace.” With Canada’s vast territory, three coastlines, and high Arctic region, the Heron TP is an inspired choice to meet any Remotely Piloted Aircraft System needs.

Contact Info:

IAI – Israeli Aerospace Industries
Headquarters: Ben Gurion International Airport, 70100, Israel
Contact: Adam Susman, Director, Corporate Marketing
Tel: +972-3-935-3111


Modernized Integrated Air Defence Systems
Posted on Dec 8, 2020

Providing a network-based, multi-layered air defense, IAI’s BARAK MX sets new standards for modern air defence capability, from short range air defense (SHORAD) to extended range air defenses (ERAD), securing the national airspace and protecting military forces theater-wide.

Recent conflicts around the world have highlighted the central role of air defence, and are driving nations to modernize their defences against air attacks, unmanned aerial systems, and cruise missiles. Legacy air defence systems that trace back to the 1980s often lack the agility to meet new threats, thus becoming vulnerable to counter-attacks and countermeasures.  

Newer technologies have brought about significant changes in the threats that air defence systems have to cope with, stand-alone weapons, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), cruise missiles and electronic warfare (EW), air-launched missiles and unmanned platforms deployed from stand-off range, out of the air defenses reach. Whereas in the past, air defence was designed to counter aerial attacks carried mainly by fixed-wing and rotary-wing manned aircraft. Attacks can be programmed to strike from all aspects, employing coordinated salvo techniques to saturate the defences, and such surprise attacks indicate no hostile intent before launch. The changing threats and their widespread use, necessitate a new need and new ways of coping with them effectively. For this purpose, a paradigm shift in the operation of air defense forces is required.

Integrated Air Defence System

Integrated Air Defence Systems (IADS) include multiple combined assets such as sensors, command and control nodes, and fire units, woven in a mesh-based net-centric operation. With modern systems like BARAK-MX, commanders can effectively delegate tasks and targets for complex threat mitigation and override the damage caused by the destruction or isolation of singular nodes. In effect, parallel operations of several attack missions are possible, unlike in the past and earlier systems – in which only linear operations were possible.

The BARAK MX System

Barak-MX is currently operational with several prestigious customers worldwide.

BARAK-MX system was developed and designed by IAI from the ground up as a true net-centric IADS surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. A flexible, network-enabled, open architecture enables a networked and fully independent operability of the system, couples different sensors and employs an advanced battle management system. 

It is centered around the Barak MX Smart-Launcher concept that provides an autonomous “Fire-Unit-in-a-Box”, a compactly integrated element that functions as an entire SAM battery. Its architecture can support a classic battery Fire Unit (FU) in a stand-alone mode or merge both operating concepts in a hybrid model.

Another aspect of BARAK MX agility is the choice of three types of interceptors using a common missile core design. These include the BARAK MRAD for short to medium ranges intercept (up to 35km), BARAK LRAD (Interception range up to 70 km), and the BARAK ER (effective at ranges up to 150 km).

The BARAK-MX System was designed from inception to be complemented by IAI-ELTA’s revolutionary ELM-2084 Multi-Mission Radar (MMR). The ELM-2084 radar combines capabilities of air surveillance and air defence within a single advanced radar system. Together with the BARAK-MX’s true net-centric capabilities, these sensors provide exceptional operational cost/benefit advantages for the integrated air defense system. The system’s open architecture enables integrating different radars and battle management assets, including legacy systems already operating by the customer.

The BARAK-MX Battle Management System (BMS) conducts all interceptions and supervises the smart launchers associated with the system, whether local or remote, thus achieving the highest success rate while maintaining the most efficient battle economy. As an advanced and innovative system, the BARAK-MX is suitable for operations both at sea and on land. The advanced control systems enable the cooperation between the batteries in all operating scenarios, separately (sea or land) or in combination.

As Israel’s national strategic missile producer and a pioneer of cutting-edge air and missile defence systems, IAI has developed and fielded the Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 Ballistic Missile interceptors, along with the Barak-MX system.

IAI considers cooperation with nations seeking to equip advanced air defence systems as essential. This is to leverage, improve and reap long term benefits; gaining access to technological know-how and the economic benefits derived from such investments. In line with IAI's long-standing local teaming strategy, IAI continuously explores opportunities for overseas partnerships, including subcontracting and through-life support.

Most military forces have recognized the need to modernize their air defences. Many recent tenders are geared towards IADS systems with full net-centricity, offering the highest operational advantage, affordability, and economic advantages in facing current and future threats.

© FrontLine sponsored content 2020

FrontLine Innovation Platform 2020
Posted on Dec 4, 2020

Every year, FrontLine highlights a select group of organizations that make innovation a serious priority. From R&D to advanced technologies, these companies are making a difference for the future.

The list below is in alphabetical order by company. Click on the company names for more information on each of these Top Innovators.

Tactical Edge Network – a groundbreaking new solution for Defence and Public Safety organizations when establishing, managing and maintaining complex and possibly multinational communications networks. A single, intuitive user interface simplifies the end-to-end administration of sensitive communications networks. 

Beretta Defence Technologies / Stoeger Canada
By providing government and law enforcement agencies with a unique combination of services, weaponry and equipment, from enhanced tactical clothing to firearms, ammunition, optics and electro-optics, Beretta can match every operational need to cover a wide range of complex scenarios.

Collins Aerospace
To fill the need for intelligent and secure communications, simulation and much more, Collins Aerospace delivers connected solutions that ensure their military, government and civilian customers can successfully complete their most complex and critical missions.

D.S. Raider
Transporting soldiers or security personnel and equipment through rough terrains requires tactical solutions that can navigate in terrain previously only reached by foot. The Israeli-developed EZ Raider personal transportation system for security personnel and soldiers will soon have an autonomous version.

DRDC Valcartier Research Centre
The Government of Canada is currently investing in infrastructure to provide defence scientists with modern (and green) facilities to continue cutting-edge defence research well into the future. The first to benefit is the Valcartier Research Centre, where construction began in October 2020.

Finabel – Army Innovation
This report examines the future of army innovation in Europe. Three trends have been identified as impacting army innovation the most: the increase in mobility; the shift from fossil to electric powered equipment; and adapting technology to the needs and constraints of soldiers on operations. 

IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries)
Unmanned aerial systems have become the go-to solution for sovereignty missions, monitoring the effects of climate change, patrolling borders and coastlines, and protecting troops in close combat – while flying longer missions, carrying heavier payloads, and reaching higher altitudes. 

Polar Knowledge Canada
With its main operations at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island, Nunavut, it’s a key stop for marine traffic through the Northwest Passage – an increasingly accessible region that presents environmental, political and strategic opportunities.

Rheinmetall Canada
With the addition of new Canadian jobs in mind, this Canadian company recently expanded to take over production of the parent company's Mobile Start Units (MSUs). The change includes a transfer of technology and manufacturing capabilities from Germany to Canada.