Tuesday, July 14, 2015

RAAF IAI Heron UAV A45-253 Captured Returning to Rockhampton Airport After 10-hour Sortie into Shoalwater Bay

Local plane spotter Travis W popped out to Rockhampton Airport late on Monday 13 July and was very fortunate to capture some great photos as Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) A45-253 returned to Rockhampton Airport at the completion of a 10-hour long sortie into the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA).

Two Herons - A45-253 and A25-262 - were brought to Rockhampton Airport to participate in joint Military Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015, marking the first time ever that a drone is being operated in civilian airspace.

The Heron UAV - which is flown by qualified pilots from a ground control station - provides RAAF commanders with real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information in the field.  It is operated by No. 5 Flight as a part of No. 92 Wing.  The flight is responsible for operating the RAAF's small fleet of four IAI Herons out of Woomera in South Australia.

A45-253 was heard to use the radio callsign of "Unmanned Bluey 70" during its flight.

Thanks to Travis for capturing and sending through these awesome photos!

All photos taken by Travis Whiting  ©

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