Elbit Systems has delivered its first Hermes 900 system to an undisclosed customer in Latin America, with its programme including the delivery of unmanned air vehicles, universal ground control stations to be installed in a mission control centre, Elop electro-optical sensors and other equipment.
In August 2012, Elbit announced its receipt of an order to supply a mixed fleet of Hermes 900s and smaller Hermes 450s to a Latin American buyer. Sources in the Israeli defence establishment said the contract was with Colombia, and had been signed under a government-to-government agreement imposed by the Israeli defence ministry after a previous deal was cancelled because of a "power struggle" between Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries.
Already operated by the Israeli air force, the Hermes 900 has also been selected by the Chilean armed forces. With a 15m (49ft) wingspan, 8.3m fuselage length and a maximum take-off weight of 1,100kg (2,420lb), including a payload of up to 300kg, the UAV can be flown to an altitude of more than 30,000ft.
Elbit says it has increased its UAS production activities to meet high demand, and will soon deliver additional Hermes 900 systems to other international customers.