Germany is close to selecting a large unmanned air system, with the nation's Der Spiegel newspaper saying that air force chief Lt Gen Karl Muellner recently visited Israel to attend a presentation about Israel Aerospace Industries' Heron TP. In its report, the publication claims talks were held about an armed version of the aircraft.

Berlin's search for a new UAS was stepped up in late 2012, after it decided against tying a planned procurement with a similar one being pursued by France. The latter froze plans to acquire the IAI/Dassault-promoted Heron TP following presidential elections and the launch of an overall reassessment of its defence needs.

The Heron TP is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine, has a maximum take-off weight of more than 4t, and a 26m (85ft) wingspan.

Germany has also been evaluating a version of the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 for its operational requirements.

Source: Flight International