TEL AVIV - Israel's Elbit Systems announced Jan. 3 that it has secured a contract to supply the Hermes 900 unmanned aerial system (UAS) to an unidentified American country. According to the firm, the approximately $50 million deal includes Hermes 900 airframes, universal ground control stations, the firm's advanced DCoMPASS electro-optical payloads and satellite communications links. Deliveries of the complete system will conclude in about a year.
SOURCES IN ISRAEL would only say that the end user was not an Air Force, but rather a government organization in a Central American country. (Elbit Systems)
The publicly traded firm declined to identify its latest customer for the Hermes 900, and defense and industry sources here were only willing to note that the end user was not an Air Force, but a government organization in a Central American country.
Less than six months after first flight of the prototype Hermes 900 in December 2009, Elbit began serial production of its self-funded system - first for the Israel Air Force and then for the Chilean Air Force.
The Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV is a higher-flying, heavier-hauling version of the firm's Hermes 450, operational in Israel, the United Kingdom and more than a half-dozen other countries. Like the Hermes 450, the Hermes 900 is designed for autonomous flight, automatic takeoff and landing, and full payload management by Elbit's universal ground control station. In addition to the redundant wideband line-of-sight datalinks built into the 450 model, the Hermes 900 features an advanced satellite communication channel for long-range missions at altitudes of more than 30,000 feet.
"We are proud that yet another customer has selected the Hermes 900, following orders by the Israel Defense Forces and Chile," Elad Aharonson, general manager of Elbit's UAS Division, said in the firm's Jan. 3 announcement.