Elbit Systems has a launched a new model in its Hermes series of unmanned air vehicles, called the 650 Spark.

Unveiled at the Singapore air show on 21 February, the Spark breaks from previous variants of the family and features an engine in the nose rather than a pusher-propeller configuration in the tail.

Hermes 650 Spark

Source: Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

Elbit has already secured an undisclosed customer for the new Hermes 650

Ziv Avni, head of marketing and business development at the Israeli firm, says it has already secured an undisclosed launch customer for the Hermes 650.

Primarily designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, the Spark is not currently due to be armed, says Avni. 

Boasting a maximum take-off weight of 650kg (1,430lb), the Hermes 650 can carry a 260kg payload.

Elbit claims an endurance of 24h, and the aircraft can travel at speeds of 55-120kt (101-222km/h).

Avni says that this wide speed range allows the aircraft to quickly reach its mission area and then loiter for an extended period.

Some ISR payloads have already been integrated with the platform and Elbit is ready to begin production. 

Key considerations in the design of the Hermes 650 include a high level of autonomy as well as the ability to operate from short airfields.