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Germany to extend operations with Heron 1 UAV

Germany is to continue using Israel Aerospace Industries Heron 1 unmanned air vehicles in Afghanistan until October 2014 under a two-year contract extension worth about €75 million ($91 million).

"The order includes the continuation of flight operations, as well as the training of additional operational personnel of the German air force and the installation of new, more powerful sensor payloads," says Cassidian/Rheinmetall joint venture Rheinmetall Airborne Systems.

Dubbed "Saateg", Germany's interim medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air system has delivered more than 9,300h of surveillance cover in Afghanistan since March 2010, using three modified Heron 1 air vehicles and two ground control stations at Mazar-e-Sharif air base.

"Heron has proved its value in operations and has become an essential component of the regional reconnaissance architecture," Rheinmetall Airborne Systems says.

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