The Israeli defense electronics company, Elbit Systems, has been awarded a $300-million contract to supply Hermes 900 tactical drones to “a country in Asia”, the company said without specifying which country had placed the order.
Under the contract, the company will provide its Hermes 900 UAVs and associated sub-systems, as well as maintenance and support services, and would complete the contract within 5 years.
“There is a continuous demand for integrating unmanned systems to cope with a growing variety of operational needs. Our operational portfolio of autonomous capabilities, in all domains of operation, positions us competitively to address these needs,” Elbit Systems President & CEO Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis said.
The Hermes 900 is an Israeli medium-size, multi-payload, medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for tactical missions like reconnaissance, surveillance, and communications relay.
Another win for the Hermes™ 900 UAS. Under the $300M contract we will supply the Unmanned Aircraft Systems to a country in Asia along with maintenance and support services. This is the 12th country that has selected the Hermes 900 to date. Read more: https://t.co/LFL0aOctye pic.twitter.com/MMaLTQ0AAB
— Elbit Systems (@ElbitSystemsLtd) March 2, 2021
Having an endurance of over 30 hours, the UAV has a wingspan of 15 meters and can achieve heights of up to 30,000 feet (maximum service ceiling). It can carry payloads of up to 300kg, which may include electro-optical/infrared sensors, synthetic-aperture radar/ground-moving target indication, communications and electronic intelligence, electronic warfare, and hyperspectral sensors.
The Hermes 900 has been exported successfully to more than 10 countries and saw its first use with the Israeli forces. Its first operational mission took place on July 15, 2014, which was a link in a chain of operations that eventually led to a fighter jet attack that destroyed terrorist infrastructure.
Maintenance on the aircraft during the operation was done by Elbit personnel because IAF ground teams had not yet been qualified to perform maintenance on it, and mission stations had Elbit representatives that guided the operators during combat flights.
The Hermes 900 was officially introduced into the IAF’s operational lineup on November 11, 2015. In 2018, the Adani Elbit Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Complex (UAV) was inaugurated in India, which became the first of its kind in the country and the first outside Israel to manufacture the Hermes 900 Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAV.
The factory started operations with the manufacturing of complete carbon composite aerostructures for Hermes 900, followed by Hermes 450, catering to the global markets and will be further ramped up for the assembly and integration of complete UAVs.