Elbit’s Hermes 900 MALE UAV: $70 million contract
Elbit Systems Ltd. won a roughly $70 million contract to supply intelligence integrated systems based on Hermes 900 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and an intelligence gathering system for homeland security applications in Latin America.
The company was awarded a similar contract in June 2011, also to an undisclosed customer in the region, with the Swiss parliament approving the $250 million acquisition of six Hermes 900 UAVs in Sept 2015. Known customer nations to date include Israel, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. Elbit actually claims 8 total customers.
The Hermes 900 offers a 15m wingspan and 1,180/ 2,204 pound maximum takeoff weight is comparable to the MQ-1 Predator, or to Israel Aerospace Industries’ popular Heron family. It offers a flight altitude of up to 30,000 feet, with a flight time of up to 30-36 hours, and a 350 kg/ 772 pound payload capacity.
The Hermes 900 incorporates an Internal Auto Takeoff and Landing system that enables auto-landing even on alternate non-instrumented runways, and has advanced features including built-in autonomous emergency procedures, Air Traffic Control radio, radio relay, and an IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) transponder. Satellite communications can be installed for additional control range.
Payloads can include the SELEX Gabbiano T-200 X-band SAR/GMTI and MPR land and maritime surveillance radar, the DCoMPASS surveillance and targeting turret, AES 201V ESM/ELINT signal interception and location equipment, the Skyfix/Skyjam–COMINT/DF communication snooping & optional COMJAM jamming system, or a Communications relay for friendly troops. A maritime configuration can add an Automatic Identification System (AIS) to ID compliant ships, Communications relay that lets the operator ‘talk through’ to vessels at sea, and Windward Ltd.’s MarInt satellite-based maritime intelligence analytic system.
It is capable of performing missions for area dominance, persistent intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR). Hermes 900 also can perform ground support and maritime patrol missions, and offers the capability for integrated multi-platform, multi-sensor operation.
“Since establishing the ISTAR Division, we have witnessed a growing demand for solutions combing a range of intelligence in-house technologies, and we are pleased to be able to supply our customers with our cutting-edge systems, creating a power multiplier,” says Elad Aharonson, general manager of Elbit Systems intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) Division.
Source Elbit, intelligent-aerospace.com, defenceindustrydaily