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Elbit's second Hermes 900 poised to enter flight test

Elbit Systems' second prototype Hermes 900 unmanned air vehicle will soon enter flight testing, while its first example has already accumulated more than 350 flight hours.

Elbit was awarded a launch contract in February 2010 to supply a "small number" of its new design under an initial procurement by the Israeli defence forces, which already operate the smaller Hermes 450 air vehicle. A follow-on order is expected within the framework of the nation's next multi-year plan.

The Hermes 900 has a wingspan of 15m (49.2ft), is 8.3m long and has a maximum take-off weight of 1,100kg (2,420lb), including a 300kg payload. The UAV can be flown to an altitude of more than 30,000ft, and has an automatic take-off and landing capability.

© Elbit Systems

A universal command and control ground station enables operators to use both the Hermes 450 and 900 designs. The former type has logged more than 170,000 flight hours in operational use.

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