Elbit Systems successfully carried out the maiden flight on Monday of the new long-range, high-endurance Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle which is capable of carrying out surveillance missions thousands of kilometers from Israel, including over Iran.
The Hermes 900 is the longer-range model of the Hermes 450, that has accumulated over 170,000 flight hours. The Hermes 900 offers additional key capabilities, can stay airborne for 36 hours, fly at altitudes of more than 30,000 feet, carry a large payload of up to 300 kilograms and can fly in adverse weather conditions.
The new UAV offers advanced satellite communication capabilities and can be controlled from the same ground station as the Hermes 450.
The Hermes 900 uses innovative avionics and operates a silent engine allowing for missions in densely-populated areas. It offers additional technologies and applications such as electro-optic systems, laser designators and electronic intelligence sensors (ELINT, COMINT).
The IDF has yet to purchase the new UAV but already operates the Hermes 450. It recently purchased the Heron UAV, made by Israel Aerospace Industries, which can remain airborne for over 30 hours and has a cruising altitude of 30,000 feet.