The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 6 April that funding has been approved for the arming of the Heron TP drones operated by the German Air Force. 150 million euros ($163.53 million) has been allocated for armament, staff training and peripheral equipment.
In a statement, the German MoD said: “Russia’s attack on Ukraine has fundamentally changed the security situation in Europe and once again reinforced the urgency of fully equipping the Bundeswehr.”
The Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron TP medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated by the German Air Force were previously only used for reconnaissance operations but will now be equipped with guided missiles for force protection missions. The UAVs are leased from Israel through Airbus Defence and Space.
The guided missiles are expected to be delivered within two years, with 60 of them to be used for training purposes while the remaining 80 will be used for combat operations.