The Israeli Air Force (IAF) will soon acquire the “Hermes 900” Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) manufactured by Elbit Systems Ltd.
IsraelDefense learned from a senior IAF officer that the IAF is co-partner in the development of the model, which will be assigned to the squadron currently operating the “Hermes 450”, another Elbit Systems product.
Built as a medium-altitude long-endurance aircraft, many of the Hermes 900’s features are twice the size of those in the older model. With its 15- meter wingspan, carrying capacity of 350 kilograms (maximum), and cruising altitude of 30,000 feet, Hermes 900 can remain aloft twice as long – over forty hours - as the earlier model.
Experts believe that its long-endurance capability and satellite communication systems will enable it to operate in ranges of thousands of kilometers, thus reaching countries as distant as Iran.
Hermes 900 carries equipment under its belly and wings. Cameras and other visual devices can be quickly replaced for daytime or nighttime missions.
The air force is testing the UAVs in the designated squadrons. The “UAV Intelligence and Space Department” is responsible for the technical aspects of operating and maintaining an allweather aircraft on a 24-hour a day basis.
Elbit Systems has announced that three “Hermes 900s” will be delivered to the IDF.
“In the future, one third of the IAF’s aircraft will be UAVs”, a senior air force officer told IsraelDefense.