Elbit Systems is displaying its largest platform of the Hermes family of UAS – Hermes 900.
Hermes 900 was designed as a derivative of the Hermes family of UAS, introducing significant savings and enhanced capabilities over existing platforms. With over 300,000 operational flight hours with Hermes 450 UAS, the new ‘900 inherits the reliable building blocks, ground support equipment, payloads and ground mission controls, while expanding the flight envelope and endurance to new levels.
Among the key capabilities offered by the new drone are longer endurance, flight altitude of 30,000 ft. and a large payload capacity (up to 350kg). Unlike many other UAS, the Hermes 900 is designed with a 2.5 meter long internal payload bay, capable of accommodating up to 250 kg and allowing quick modular payload installation and replacement. The spacious bay accommodates multiple payloads with more installed on four hard points under the wings. The UAS includes innovative avionics and electronic systems, a low noise engine, as well as solutions that can be offered for sense & avoid capabilities and safe integration of the UAS into the relevant air space.
The ‘900 employs the same ground control station, line of sight data link, various sensors and key ground support equipment elements as the Hermes 450. This enables seamless insertion of the new UAS into Hermes 450 units, enabling users to benefit from reduced logistics and operational cost.
A typical sensor suite includes the baseline EO payload DCoMPASS, or Stand off EO/IR/Laser system such as the AMPS from ElOp. Different area surveillance missions can be performed in parallel to the EO payloads; these include various radar systems such as the SAR/GMTI and Maritime Search Radars. Three new mission specific sensor packages are being introduced for the drone – the electro optic mapping and survey area scanning systems (LASSO), hyperspectral payload and wide area persistent stare system.
The sheer size of the drone enables the deployment of other sensors – hence, the SIGINT payloads include the Skyfix COMINT/DF and Skyfix-G COMINT GSM systems. Electronic attack configurations may include the SKYJAM communication jamming system and AES 210 V/V2 ESM (ELINT) systems.
Hermes 900 uses an integral satellite communication data link enabling operations beyond line of sight and in mountainous areas, where line-of-sight restricts non SATCOM UAS from descending to lower altitude. In addition, the UAS can takeoff from a launch and recovery site in theater and be controlled from a mission station positioned remotely and conveniently in the user’s home facilities thousands of miles away. In order to implement this capability, Elbit Systems uses a cutting edge SATCOM system that combines highly advanced technologies, increasing bandwidth efficiency and assuring maximum cost effectiveness for its customers.