When national defence budgets are consumed to the last dollar or whatever currency they consist of, their “cousins” in homeland security are still alive and kicking.
This trend is gathering momentum in many countries and the manufacturers of “dual use” systems, ones that can be used by a military unit or by a police unit, are taking advantage of this.
In recent years, Israeli manufacturers of unmanned air systems (UAS) and their dedicated payloads have succeeded in entering this market.
The market can be described as “homeland security” in its widest meaning.
Terror mixed with drug trafficking, illegal border crossing and monitoring long power lines are only some reasons to purchase an advanced UAS.
A good example – the federal police in the Parana district in Brazil have recently begun to operate a Heron-1 UAS supplied by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The Heron will perform missions in the San Miguel de Iguacu area as part of the overall effort to fight drug trafficking.
The Brazilian police say that by 2014, four bases in Brazil will be equipped with UAS.
The Heron UAS was demonstrated in Brazil for the first time in 2009. The demonstration took place under harsh conditions in one of the most difficult areas of Brazil to fly in – the state of Parana, and the region of San Miguel de Iguacu.
Following a series of tests, the Brazilian police decided that the Heron system was best suited to what the police wanted: relaying data and intelligence in real time, carrying a number of sensors simultaneously, and employing satellite communications and Automatic Take-off and Landing (ATOL).
The police team emphasised that the Heron system can successfully complete missions under difficult climate and terrain conditions, and has more advanced flight and loitering capabilities than those offered by other UAS.