Elbit Systems reported today the first export sale of its Hermes 900 UAV to a customer in Latin America (although the identity of the country has not been confirmed, the country is believed to be Chile). The UAV system selected by Chile also includes DCoMPASS payload systems and an unidentified radar systems.
The Chileans have developed their military requirement for UAS for several years but only after the earthquake that devastated the country in 2010 the need for advanced, rapid response aerial surveillance system received a high priority.
The Chilean choice followed evaluation of two classes of UAS. At the high end were the Hermes 900 and Heron from IAI, both already were selected by the Israel Defense Forces. At the lower (tactical) level were Hermes 450, and Aerostar from Aeronautics Defense Systems. The Hermes 900 will be operated by the Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aérea de Chile – FACH).
Hermes 900 builds on the vast operational experience of the Hermes 450, the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces’ UAS fleet. The system uses unified ground control station (UGCS) that shares software architecture and training programs with other Hermes family platforms, allowing the Hermes 900 users seamless integration with Hermes 450 systems, enhancing operational flexibility, infrastructure, training and system life cycle cost.
Hermes 900 offers a range of enhanced capabilities, from higher flight altitude (over 30,000 ft) to longer endurance and larger payload capacity. The system’s unique multipurpose payload bay enables it to carry a wide variety of payloads in different shapes and sizes for quick “conversion” between various payload configurations.