Elbit Systems, of Haifa, Israel, performed a series of joint flight missions of its Hermes 450 and Hermes® 900 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the company said Wednesday. The two different UAS were controlled and operated from the same universal ground control station (UGCS), transmitting the gathered imagery, ELINT and COMINT to their station operators, while using different communications systems.
The medium-altitude, long-endurance Hermes 450 is operated by the Israeli Air Force and several other nations, and is the basis of the Watchkeeper UAS developed for the British Army. Elbit said the UAS has accumulated more than 200,000 operational flight hours. It's equipped with Elbit's CoMPASS EO/IR/LD gimbaled electro-optical payload and a communication systems for real-time imagery transmission to ground stations. Additional features include an Internal Auto Takeoff and Landing system, a modified engine that enables increased flight altitudes up to 20,000 feet, and a communication data link range of 250 km.
Hermes 900, with a 15 m wingspan and 1100 kg max takeoff weight, is a longer endurance, higher altitude UAS with a larger payload capacity version of the Hermes 450. Additional features include electro-optic systems, laser designators and electronic intelligence sensors.