Elbit Hermes 450


Elbit Hermes 450

The Elbit Systems Hermes 450 is a medium size multi-payload unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for tactical long endurance missions. It has an endurance of over 20 hours, with a primary mission of reconnaissance, surveillance and communications relay.

The Hermes 450 has a length of 6.1 m, wingspan of 10.5 m and weighs 450 kg, with a payload capability of 150 kg. It has a 52 hp (39 kW) rotary Wankel engine powering a pusher propeller, giving a maximum speed of 95 knots and a maximum altitude of over 5,500 m (18,000 ft).

Hermes 450s are operated by the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Test and Evaluation Program at the Naval Air Station Fallon [http://www.thalesgroup.co.uk/thales_corporate/press-room/pressreleases/us-success-for-uav-offered-by-thales-for-watchkeeper.cfm] , and two Hermes 450s were tested by the U.S. Border Patrol in 2004. The Hermes 450 is the basis of the British Army Watchkeeper WK450 development which started in July 2005 in conjunction with Thales.

The Israeli Air Force, which operates a squadron of Hermes 450s out of Palmachim Airbase south of Tel Aviv, has adapted the Hermes 450 for use as an assault UAV, reportedly equipping it with two Hellfire missiles or, according to various sources, two Rafael-made missiles. According to Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese and independent reports, the Israeli assault UAV has seen extensive service in the Gaza Strip and was used intensively in the Second Lebanon War. Israel has not denied this capability, but to date, its policy has been not to officially confirm it either.

Two Hermes 450 were ordered by the Croatian military along with two smaller Skylark UAVs in late 2006. Their service will begin in late 2007.

Recently, the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) announced that the RSAF is adding the Hermes 450 to its UAV fleet, as part of the Air Force's new UAV command.

Hermes 450 have also been used by Georgia for reconnaissance over its disputed Abkhazia territory, where some were shot down.

References

* [http://www.elbitsystems.com/productsDetailsPage.asp?id=579 Hermes 450] , Elbit Systems
* [http://www.elbitsystems.com/lobmainpage.asp?id=161 Hermes - 450] , Elbit Systems
* [http://www.defense-update.com/products/h/hermes-450.htm Hermes 450 Tactical UAV System] , Defense Update
* [http://www.israeli-weapons.com/weapons/aircraft/uav/hermes_450/Hermes_450.html Hermes 450] , Israeli-weapons.com
* [http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/techpolicy/2004-05-17-border-uav_x.htm Border Patrol to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles] , USA Today, May 17, 2004
* [http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/07/front2454229.238888889.html Israel sets combat drones against missile launchers in Gaza] , World Tribune, May 8, 2007
* [http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=awst&id=news/aw082106p2.xml Israel Starts Reexamining Military Missions and Technology] , Aviation Week, August 20, 2006
* [http://www.unomig.org/data/other/080526_unomig_report.pdf Report of UNOMIG on the incident of 20 April involving the downing of a Georgian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle over the Zone of Conflict] , UNOMIG, 2008-05-26


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