Angola's defence ministry is negotiating the purchase of a number of Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1 unmanned air systems, according to African sources.

IAI has within the past few months conducted flight demonstrations with the Heron in Angola and Kenya, which is also looking for a UAS capability, the sources say. A lease deal involving the type is believed to be one option available to the first country, they add.

IAI declines to comment about its marketing efforts with UAS in Africa.

The Heron 1 is a medium-altitude, long-endurance air vehicle designed to perform strategic reconnaissance and surveillance operations. Capable of automatic take-off and landing, it has a 30,000ft (9,150m) maximum altitude and can be fitted with a variety of payloads.

Angola has previously used an Israeli company to meet some of its surveillance needs. In 2003 Aeronautics Defense Systems-supplied Aerostar UAS were operated to patrol oil installations for Chevron/Texaco.

Source: Flight International