Israeli manufacturer offers Hermes 450 medium-endurance vehicle for army project and backs it with smaller 180

Elbit Systems has submitted two separate bids for the Australian Army's Joint Project 129 (JP129) tactical unmanned air vehicle requirement, including an offer to supply its Hermes 450 medium-endurance UAV as a candidate in its own right. The Israeli company is also offering the Hermes 450 as a growth path in a separate bid based on its smaller Hermes 180 air vehicle.

An executive summary of the bids released by Elbit says the Hermes 180 proposal can meet all JP129 daily rate of effort requirements with it just two air vehicles per troop, but is offering four UAVs per troop as a baseline proposal. The bid summary says that a single Hermes 450 would meet all daily rate of effort targets in a single sortie, but the company is again offering four aircraft per troop to comply with competition requirements.

The tender calls for the supply of two UAV troops, each comprising sufficient air vehicles and payloads for each to be able to provide 15h of continuous operations in a 24h period at a range of 70km (40nm), and to sustain this rate for 30 days. Elbit says Hermes 450s would meet the 30-day target with a total of two air vehicles per troop, while the Hermes 180 would require three air vehicles per troop. Both bids propose initial operator training in Israel, with Australian teaming partner ADI to provide commercial training post entry into operational service if the JP129 project office decides to proceed with a commercial support package.

The Hermes 180 bid offers the POP 300 electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) payload from Israel Aircraft Industries' Tamam division, and proposes El-Op's Compass IV EO/IR system with an integrated laser designator proposed as an upgrade option. The former payload would give the Hermes 180 a maximum endurance of 9.5h. The Compass IV system, minus laser designator, is baselined for the Hermes 450 bid. The Thales I-Master synthetic aperture radar with integrated ground-moving-target indicator is set for the Hermes 180 and proposed as an option for the Hermes 450.


Source: Flight International