The Israeli air force is close to completing the full integration of Elbit Systems' Hermes 900 ‘Kochav’ unmanned air vehicle (UAV), with the service having recently operated the type without support from the manufacturer's technical team. More of its personnel are set to be certified to operate the aircraft in the coming weeks.
With a medium-altitude, long-endurance design, the Hermes 900 can perform persistent intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance, and area-dominance missions while carrying multiple payloads weighing up to a combined 350kg (770lb). It also can fly ground support and maritime patrol missions.
Payload options include electro-optical/infrared, synthetic aperture radar/ground-moving target indication, communications and electronic intelligence, electronic warfare, and hyperspectral sensors, enabling the UAV to achieve persistent wide-area surveillance.
Completion of the Hermes 900's integration is part of a move to increase the number of UAV units within the air force. Demand for its services continues to increase, particularly following last year's Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.