The Spanish air force is in initial negotiations with Israel Aerospace Industries about a possible purchase of Heron 1 unmanned air systems.

Israeli sources confirm that while the economic crisis in Spain has slowed the pace of negotiations, they are continuing.

In April 2013 an IAI-owned Heron was used to demonstrate its capability to integrate into civil airspace during a demonstration performed from San Javier air base in Murcia, Spain. The test was a key element of the Desire project, funded by the European Defence Agency and European Space Agency and carried out by an international consortium led by Indra.

During the 6h flight, command and control and communications between air traffic controllers from Spanish air navigation service provider AENA and a pilot on the ground were proven via satellite. Data collected from the maritime surveillance-configured aircraft was also transmitted in real-time to the ground control station.

Spain's defence ministry has since received more information about the Heron 1 and its payloads, and "talks continue", Israeli sources say.

Source: Flight International