Since the early 2000s, Canada has supported the acquisition of medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft. In late 2017, the Canadian government launched a new project called the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) that by mid-2019 yielded two qualified bidders. One of those bidders is Team Artemis, a collaboration between L3Harris Technologies and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The team is offering the Artemis Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for Canada’s RPAS program with a solution based on the IAI Heron TP UAS configured for Canada’s requirements.

L3Harris, the prime contractor, has as rich history with the Department of National Defence (DND) and is renowned in Canada for its extensive In-Service Support (ISS) heritage and capabilities. For over 30 years, L3Harris has been the premier ISS integrator to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), supporting a wide variety of major fleets, including the CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, the CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol and ISR aircraft, the CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopter and the CC-150 Polaris refueller and VIP transport in-country and abroad.  With its rich ISS and aircraft missionization experience, combined with over 50 years of supporting the DND, L3Harris is uniquely qualified to be the prime contractor, mission system lead and ISS provider for Canada’s 25-year RPAS program. 

IAI is a pioneer and world leader in UAS development for more than four decades, accumulating more than 1.8 million operational flight hours in total and culminating in the Heron TP, the largest and most capable of IAI’s UAS offerings. This aircraft may look familiar to many Canadians as its smaller variant, the Heron 1, was selected by Canada for service in Afghanistan, where it garnered praise from operational commanders for reliability and ease of use.  The Heron TP is the only aircraft offered for Canada’s RPAS program that has been proven operationally, with more than 10 years of operational experience in the most demanding conditions and environments.

For reasons of national sovereignty, the Heron TP was selected in June 2018 by the German government to meet its international expeditionary obligations. The first tranche of operators have completed their training in Israel and the first modified German Heron TP UAS conducted its first flight in July. The Artemis UAS will be a derivative of this certified German solution.

L3Harris and IAI, two well-established and reputable companies, who have a long and proven track record in collaboration with DND and the RCAF, have joined forces to fully address Canada’s RPAS requirement. With their combined expertise and experience, and L3Harris’ prominent Canadian footprint, domestic reputation and established partnerships, Team Artemis is very well positioned to offer the proven medium-altitude, long-endurance RPAS solution that Canada has long been seeking.