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The German air force says it expects the first Heron unmanned aircraft it is leasing through Rheinmetall to become operational in Afghanistan mid-month.The first of the assets were dispatched to Mazar-e-Sharif last month, where they are now undergoing final preparations.The UAV unit belonging to the 51st reconnaissance wing will be wearing this patch:[credit: Luftwaffe]The Germans see the Herons and recce Tornados that are already there as complementing each other. The UAVs will provide real-time recce, while the Tornados will focus more on intelligence tasks since they provide higher resolution imagery, but it comes with greater latency. The UAV data will also be transmitted to Germany via satellite.The Heron air vehicle operators are all combat or transport pilots.
ar99, Heron, Luftwaffe
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