Israeli unmanned air vehicle (UAV) manufacturer Elbit Systems announced the purchase the remainder of UAS Dynamics, a joint venture formed with US services company General Dynamics. The company was initially formed to market Elbit's Hermes 90 to the US navy for the small tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS) Tier II contest. STUAS was later won by the Boeing/Insitu RQ-21A Integrator.
Hermes 90 was unveiled at the Paris Air Show in 2009, which is based on the Innocon Mini Falcon. The company and its subsidiaries have a strong presence in the US defence market, mainly in the field of electronic systems and components.
Elbit, the largest private defence company in Israel, manufactures unmanned air vehicles of varying sizes that are marketed using the Hermes label. Versions of the aircraft have been sold in Israel, the UK and Colombia, among other major defence markets. The company has not yet recorded a major sale to a US customer.
Because US law requires a certain percentage of US-built components, foreign companies regularly form joint ventures with US companies to compete for contracts.