15 April 2016
RAAF Heron UAV (photo : Aus DoD)
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has made history by flying the Heron Remotely Piloted Unmanned Aircraft System out of RAAF Base Amberley. This was the first time RAAF has flown the Heron from a major Australian Air Force base.
From April 13-22, the Heron will be taking off from RAAF Base Amberley and transiting through military airspace alongside C-17A Globemaster III, F/A-18F Super Hornets and KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft.
The Heron is flown by Air Force with fully qualified military pilots who have extensive experience on both manned and remotely piloted aircraft.The Heron aircraft has completed more than 27,000 mission hours during Operation SLIPPER where it provided intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to Australian forces and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) partners in southern Afghanistan. The Heron flew its final mission from Kandahar Air Field on 30 November 2014.
Air Force currently operates two Heron aircraft from RAAF Base Woomera in South Australia.