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New mission capabilities for Elbit Hermes 450 UAV

16th June 2009 - 12:45 by the Shephard News Team

Elbit Systems' Hermes 450 has been a major player in counter-terrorism operations for years. The Hermes 450 now provides new additional features that enhance its mission effectiveness and range of operational capabilities:

The air vehicle is equipped with a modified engine that enables increased flight altitudes up to 20,000 ft, capabilities to take off from higher altitudes, quieter operation and the capability to carry more payload weight.

The Hermes 450 is now equipped with automatic take-off and landing, enhanced with an automatic taxiing and braking system.

In addition, the communication data link range is extended to 250 km allowing for better operational flexibility, to provide a much larger coverage area for ISTAR missions.

In terms of mission capabilities, the system features COMINT mission capabilities in addition to the EO/IR and laser marker capabilities for effective ISTAR operations.

The system has a solid performance record and is the primary UAV system for the Israel Defense Forces and was selected for the UK’s Watchkeeper programme, the largest such programme in Europe. It is used extensively with armies worldwide, including in active war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. So far, the Hermes 450 has accumulated over 150,000 operational flight hours with an exceptional reliability record – the system holds the best record among all operational UAV systems worldwide for a low mishap rate due to its unique design architecture.

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