Hermes-900 UAS payload variety is the key

I’m not sure the image released by Elbit Systems shows the payload configuration of the Israeli air force’s (IAF) Hermes-900 unmanned air system (UAS), but it may be an indication of an advanced payload design of an unknown customer.

The Hermes-900 was selected by the IAF in spite of the fact that it already operates the Heron unmanned aerial vehicle, made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which has very similar platform capabilities.

The image released recently by the Israeli defence company shows two optical payloads, along with electronic signals intelligence (Elint) and communications intelligence (Comint) antennas. Operational configurations will not necessarily include all the sensors carried in this demo flight.

Under the front section the UAS carries the ELOP D-Compass day/night payload, and its midsection features the AMPS multi-sensor payload. Elint and Comint antennas are arranged on the fuselage and wings.

Elbit Systems is continuing the marketing effort it began in Latin America recently, after the Hermes-900 was selected by the Chilean defence forces.

The Hermes-900 allows flight altitudes of more than 30,000ft (9,144m), has a large payload capacity and flight capabilities in adverse weather conditions. The aircraft is based on the combat-proven Hermes-450 UAV, which has accumulated over 200,000 flight hours.

The Hermes-900 has a wingspan of 15m, is 8.3m long and has a max takeoff weight of 1100kg. Maximum payload weight is 300kg.


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