2013 was an especially successful year for Elbit Systems’ unmanned aircraft systems operations, where the Hermes family, particularly the most advanced of the UAS family - the Hermes 900, reported noteworthy achievements.
-- Production: Hermes UAS production rate was one per week.
-- Sales: Dozens of platforms sold to customers in Israel, Europe and Latin America.
Hermes 900 systems were delivered to three different customers, including the IDF and two additional customers, which are already gaining invaluable contribution from their operational Hermes 900 systems. Deliveries of two additional Hermes 900 systems are scheduled within the upcoming months.
Deliveries of Hermes 450 UAS continued through 2013, including deliveries for an undisclosed customers that ordered a synergetic UAS system combinig both Hermes 450 and Hermes 900 platforms.
All Hermes systems were equipped with a broad range of advanced payloads, including SAR\GMTI and Maritime patrol radars, SIGINT systems and innovative electro-optical systems.
-- Flight Hours: In all, the Hermes UAS family accumulated over 500 thousand flight hours, eighty five thousand operational flight hours of which were flown by the British Army over Afghanistan and Iraq.
In fact, at any given moment, there are over 20 Hermes platforms airborne, executing operational duties worldwide.
-- New Mission Capabilities:
* Airborne Area Dominance
Elbit Systems will soon provide one of its customers with a unique Area Dominance system that enables simultaneous operation of two multi-sensor unmanned platforms, exploitation and analysis of all intelligence data received through two dedicated separate data links.
*Electronic Warfare (EW) System:
Elbit Systems wholly-owned subsidiary, Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT – Elisra Ltd. (Elisra) produces the SPS-65V5 system, supporting self-preservation and improving UAS survivability. It also contributes to the UAS intelligence gathering capabilities through advanced sensors integrated in the system. The system relies on Elisra’s extensive experience with the development of similar systems installed on various operational platforms (fighter aircraft, helicopters and transport aircraft) used by customers around the world.
*New Maritime patrol configuration, designed for large area coverage:
Capable of carrying advanced multiple sensor suites weighing up to 350 Kg, including a maritime patrol radar, high resolution long range observation system, electronic surveillance systems and Automatic Identification System (AIS). The Hermes 900’s aerodynamic efficiency enables frequent flight profile adjustments and mission execution at ranges up to 1,000 nautical miles using satellite communication.
New hyperspectral capability for Hermes UAS enables the gathering of high resolution data at a very broad spectral range. The system supports the identification of low signature military activity, camouflaged objects, invisible obstacles and hazardous materials.
It does so at a high level of accuracy, providing high resolution documentation at a very broad spectral range – up to 2,500 nm.
Chariots of Fire
Elad Aharonson, General Manager of Elbit Systems’ UAS Division: “Hermes UAS continue to play a major operational role worldwide. We are constantly enhancing our systems and developing innovative capabilities to enable our customers to cope with modern operational challenges and enjoy the outstanding reliability, operational flexibility and high survivability of the Hermes UAS.
“The on-going inflow of orders we have received since launching the Hermes 900 four years ago is the best evidence of the system's outstanding operational capabilities, demonstrating this system’s operational success”.
The Hermes 900 is capable of an extended flight ceiling of over 30,000 ft. with a large internal payload bay that is suitable for carrying a large amount of payloads and is also capable of flying in harsh weather conditions. The UAS allows for autonomous liftoff and landing and to control two platforms, using two ground data terminals under Elbit Systems’ Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS).
The Hermes 900 utilizes innovative avionic and electronic systems, such as electro-optical systems and laser pointers, ELINT sensors, COMINT, LOS communications and satellite communications.
Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international defense electronics company engaged in a wide range of programs throughout the world. The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems and radios.