Successful Maiden Flight for Elbit Systems’ HermesÂ® 900 UAV
The new HermesÂ® 900 builds on the rich operational experience of the HermesÂ® 450, offering additional capabilities such as flight altitude of over 30,000 ft, long endurance, large payload capacity (up to 300kg), modular design allowing fast payload replacement and flight capabilities in adverse weather conditionsÂ
Serial production of the UAV will commence shortly, following completion of additional test flightsÂ Â
Haifa, Israel, December 14, 2009 – Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESLT), announced today that its HermesÂ® 900 UAV completed a successful Maiden Flight and will commence serial production following the completion of additional flight tests.Â
The HermesÂ® 900 is based on the successful track record of the HermesÂ® 450, that has accumulated over 170,000 flight hours and is one of less than handful of UAVs in the world to cross the 100,000 operational flight hour’s barrier. The new HermesÂ® Â 900 offers additional key capabilities, such as longer endurance, flight altitude of more than 30,000 ft, large payload capacity (up to 300kg), modular design allowing fast payload replacement and flight capabilities in adverse weather conditions.Â
HermesÂ® 900 offers an advanced satellite communication channel and is operated from Elbit Systems’ universal command & control ground station (UGCS), enabling advanced mission management, automatic taxiing, autonomous flight and automatic takeoff and landing systems common to all the UAVs and in the HermesÂ® family.Â
The HermesÂ® 900 also includes innovative avionics and electronic systems and a silent engine, as well as systems required for flight in a combined civil and unmanned aviation area. The new UAV offers additional cutting edge technologies and applications such as electro-optic systems, laser designators and electronic intelligence sensors (ELINT, COMINT).Â
Haim Kellerman, Co-General Manager of Elbit Systems UAS Division, noted that the HermesÂ® 900 broadens out the Elbit Systems UAS portfolio, offering customers a variety of mission capabilities, from the mini-UAV system designed for the soldier level, through battalion-level UAVs, and up to higher chains of command for both Armies and Air Forces. The operational experience accumulated by the HermesÂ® systems for the Israeli Defense Forces and other leading armies worldwide, as well as the ongoing improvements based on its operational track record, have maintained this UAV family’s leadership in performance, reliability, variety of mission-oriented payloads and more. Kellerman further noted that the fact that the HermesÂ® 900 builds on existing applications and similar infrastructure of the HermesÂ® 450, allows Elbit Systems to transfer the new UAV directly into serial production. Elbit Systems is enhancing its production abilities in order to meet the growing demand of this new addition to the HermesÂ® UAV family.