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Israel Sells Drones to Germany for Afghanistan Use

JERUSALEM — Israel Aerospace Industries says it will supply unmanned spy planes to Germany that will see action in Afghanistan early next year.

The Heron drones will be deployed by the German air force in northern Afghanistan in early 2010 for reconnaissance missions, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Israel Aerospace would not reveal how many drones were sold or for how much but said it was a multimillion dollar deal.

Israeli drones have previously been supplied to coalition forces to gather intelligence data on Islamic militants in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Heron is Israel's largest surveillance drone, with a 54-foot wingspan and an ability to fly for as long as 30 hours at a time at a speed of 140 mph and a height of 30,000 feet. According to the company's Web site, it features a satellite communications system and redundant automatic takeoff and landing (ATOL) systems.