The Israeli air force is re-engining its Elbit Systems Hermes 450 unmanned air vehicles with the R902 (W) engine, with the enhancement to increase the type's operational envelope.

Elbit says the new "Wankel"-design engine allows the Hermes 450 to deliver an improved endurance of more than 20h. Other sources say the more powerful engine is also quieter, expanding the range of missions that the tactical UAV can perform.

The new engine has a larger combustion compartment than its predecessors, enabling the design, which weighs approximately 40kg (88lb), to deliver more than 70hp. Elbit says it is also equipped with electronic fuel control and a starter-alternator option to enable in-flight restart.

The Israeli manufacturer first announced details of the R902 (W) as an upgrade option three years ago.

Hermes 450 front

Source: Flight International