Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has delivered the first Heron UAV system to the Canadian Air Force under the NOCTUA contract, valued at C$95 million ($81 million). The IAI and MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) were appointed prime contractors to deliver IAI's Heron UAV through MDA to Canadian forces (CF) deployed in Afghanistan, specifically at the Kandahar airfield.
Project Noctua will provide a leased, off-the-shelf UAV system that will be operated by CF personnel and maintained by contractors. The Noctua contract will be for two years of deployed operations with options to extend for up to 12 months.
The project is expected to deliver a line-of-sight UAV system that will be able to support both deployed operations and domestic collective training and will include air vehicles that are able to remain on-station for at least 12 hours, at a point at least 100 kilometres away from the operating base.
It will collect and transmit gyro-stabilized, colour electro-optical and infrared full-motion imagery, and broadcast full-motion and still imagery to remote video terminals to support commanders and troops on the ground.
The UAV lease for Canada will be completed by the end of 2010.
The platform and equipment are built completely at IAI's facilities in Israel, while management, training, and in-theater maintenance for the Canadian operators is the responsibility of the Canadian prime contractor MDA.