The Israeli air force is operating its Elbit Systems Hermes 450 and Hermes 900 unmanned air vehicles from Palmachim air base, with the service describing the types as "performing intelligence and forces-directing missions around the clock".

Flown from the base in central Israel, the larger Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV carries a variety of Elbit-developed sensors.

In addition to electro-optical/infrared payloads, the type can also carry a lightweight communications intelligence/direction-finding system, capable of monitoring selected transmissions while simultaneously performing a wide spectrum scan. The aircraft can also carry a cellular phone intelligence system that can monitor, record and transmit GSM communications, and be used in concert with a jamming payload the company says can manage multiple frequency sub-bands with predefined threat lists.

First ordered by the Israeli air force in 2010, the Hermes 900 also uses an automatic take-off and landing system, and features automatic brakes. The service's smaller Hermes 450 has been in operational service for more than a decade.

Source: Flight International