Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and 2Excel Aviation have joined forces to develop uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) in the UK, with an initial focus on growing 2Excel’s regulatory approvals.

The agreement, which was signed during DSEI 2023, will also explore the operation of a highly-capable Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) platform in the UK within the constraints of the regulatory environment.

The companies have already completed successful in-person and virtual demonstrations of IAI’s Heron to both UK Government and civil observers, with positive feedback from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

IAI’s president and CEO, Boaz Levy, said, “The strengthening and enhancing of IAI’s relationship with 2Excel Aviation will enable both companies to maximize the potential synergy between their respective manned and unmanned capabilities, coupled with unsurpassed customer service, to provide superior and wide-ranging solutions for the UK’s Maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) requirements and challenges.

“I am confident that IAI’s legacy as a world leader in designing, manufacturing and operating unmanned aerial systems combined with 2Excel’s expertise in ISR manned services, will facilitate timely compliance with all the CAA’s regulatory requirements and the commencement of Heron operations in the UK.”

Andy Offer, co-founder and director of 2Excel Aviation, added, “2Excel and IAI have already demonstrated to potential customers that we were able to deploy Maritime Heron for a variety of tasks in restricted UK airspace during November 2021. This agreement will see us jointly develop these capabilities and approvals, using a real aircraft flying in the real world. The rapid pace of technological advancement is creating new ways to generate actionable intelligence, insights and awareness which is potentially incredibly valuable for a range of customers.”

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