Elbit's second Hermes 900 poised to enter flight test

Tel Aviv
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Elbit Systems' second prototype Hermes 900 unmanned air vehicle will soon enter flight testing, while its first example has already accumulated more than 350 flight hours.

Elbit was awarded a launch contract in February 2010 to supply a "small number" of its new design under an initial procurement by the Israeli defence forces, which already operate the smaller Hermes 450 air vehicle. A follow-on order is expected within the framework of the nation's next multi-year plan.

The Hermes 900 has a wingspan of 15m (49.2ft), is 8.3m long and has a maximum take-off weight of 1,100kg (2,420lb), including a 300kg payload. The UAV can be flown to an altitude of more than 30,000ft, and has an automatic take-off and landing capability.

© Elbit Systems

A universal command and control ground station enables operators to use both the Hermes 450 and 900 designs. The former type has logged more than 170,000 flight hours in operational use.