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The Heron is offered for free via the TEST Free program. Please see the Test Free page for details.
The Heron has good computer and electronic systems, giving it the option of participating in electronic warfare. But it has relatively poor defenses and limited weaponry, so it's more commonly used for scouting and exploration.
The Heron is the Caldari T1 exploration frigate. Its bonuses lend its hand toward scanning down and running exploration sites, however it can easily be used for scouting. For an upgrade to the Heron, look into using a Buzzard.
Caldari Frigate Skill Bonus (Per Skill Level):
[Heron, Beginner Explorer] Improved Cloaking Device II Core Probe Launcher I Data Analyzer I Relic Analyzer I Type-E Enduring Cargo Scanner Scan Pinpointing Array I 5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Nanofiber Internal Structure II Nanofiber Internal Structure II Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I Hobgoblin I x3 Hornet EC-300 x3 Core Scanner Probe I x16
[Heron, TF Heron] Nanofiber Internal Structure I Damage Control I 5MN Microwarpdrive I Cargo Scanner I Relic Analyzer I Data Analyzer I Scan Rangefinding Array I Prototype Cloaking Device I Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I [Empty High slot] Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I [Empty Rig slot]
[Heron, Prober] Expanded Probe Launcher I, Combat Scanner Probe I [Empty High slot] [Empty Med slot] [Empty Med slot] [Empty Med slot] [Empty Low slot] [Empty Low slot] Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I [Empty Rig slot]
[Heron, FW Troll Fit] 150mm Light AutoCannon II 150mm Light AutoCannon II X5 Enduring Stasis Webifier 1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner Medium Ancillary Shield Booster Medium Ancillary Shield Booster Warp Scrambler II Micro Auxiliary Power Core I Damage Control II Small EM Shield Reinforcer I Small Kinetic Shield Reinforcer I Small Thermal Shield Reinforcer I Hobgoblin II x5 Cap Booster 50 x2 Void S x2612 Null S x64 Barrage S x1566 Republic Fleet EMP S x1112 Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S x578 Scourge Rage Rocket x500 Caldari Navy Inferno Rocket x1000 Nanite Repair Paste x10 Navy Cap Booster 50 x17