By Jr Ng
March 3, 2021
Israel’s Elbit Systems announced on 2 March that it has secured a contract worth approximately US$300 million to supply Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial systems (UASs) to an undisclosed country in Asia.
The company said in a statement that it will provide an unspecified number of Hermes 900 UASs and associated subsystems, as well as maintenance and support services, over a five-year period.
Based on earlier contracts to other Asian and European users of the Hermes 900 UAS such as the Philippines and Switzerland, a UAS package can comprise between three and four Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and a ground control station.
According to company specifications, the Hermes 900 UAV is a multirole platform that has a maximum take-off weight of 1,180 kg and a payload capacity of 350 kg. It can stay aloft for up to 30 hours and reach altitudes of up to 30,000 ft.
Elbit Systems recently completed deliveries of three Hermes 900 UASs – comprising nine UAVs – to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in the second half of 2020 under a US$153 million deal that includes other Elbit UAVs such as the Hermes 450 and Skylark. All Hermes 900 UAVs are believed to have been delivered by the end of 2020, with at least six operational in PAF service.
With at least six other military operators to date – including Azerbaijan, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Israel, and Mexico – as well as other government and civilian users, the Hermes 900 UAV is designed to carry a large range of proprietary and third-party payloads.
India’s Adani Defence & Aerospace and Elbit Systems announced in late 2018 that the Adani Elbit UAV Complex has been inaugurated in Hyderabad. The 50,000 sq ft complex is the first manufacturing facility in India and the first outside Israel to manufacture the Hermes 900 UAV, beginning with the manufacturing of complete carbon composite aerostructures for Hermes 900 and subsequently the Hermes 450 UAVs for the global market. It is also expected to undertake the assembly and integration of complete UAVs.