The Israeli Elbit Hermes 900 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is an evolved, and dimensionally larger, version of the earlier Hermes 450 system (detailed elsewhere on this site). The Hermes 900 has been developed to suit the inherent requirements of "Medium Altitude, Long Endurance" (MALE) UAV service currently sought by many world military powers and security forces today. The system is unarmed and intended for the Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) role as well as other indirect combat battlefield roles including communications relay. A Hermes 900 vehicle achieved first flight on December 9th, 2009 and has since entered frontline service with the forces of Israel. Additional customers have become Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Switzerland.
The Hermes 900 is a next-generation MALE UAV whose battlefield capabilities are supported through the installation of advanced sensors, camera equipment, and other mission-specific payloads. It is designed for exceptionally high loitering times, featuring mission endurance window of 36 hours. Power is supplied through a single Rotaz 914 series engine of 115 horsepower set in a "pusher" configuration at the rear of the fuselage. The aircraft's overall configuration is consistent with existing UAV systems seen elsewhere and includes a bulged nose section housing systems and avionics, a chin fairing mounting optics, a streamlined, tubular fuselage and rear-mounted engine. The main wing assemblies are wide-spanning straight units while the only tail wing arrangement is a pair of outward-canted fins sat over the engine installation. The undercarriage is wheeled though non-retractable.
Hermes 900 operation is through a two-man Ground Control Station (GCS) which is adaptable to the existing Hermes 450 series system. Aircraft performance includes a maximum speed of 137 miles per hour with a cruising speed of around 70 miles per hour and a listed service ceiling of 30,000 feet.
The Hermes 900 is named the "Kochav" ("Star") in Israeli Air Force service.
April 2019 - The Hermes 900 series drones is being used by Iceland to patrol the island nation's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
December 2019 - Switzerland has officially taken delivery of Hermes 900 drones.
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