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Elbit Hermes 900 (Kochav)

Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) [ 2012 ]

The Elbit Hermes 900 features an expanded role profile when compared to the earlier Hermes 450 series.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/05/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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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.

January 2022 - Brazil has signed a deal with Elbit Systems to secure additional Hermes 900 UAVs.

April 2022 - Israel has delivered a pair of Hermes 900 drones to the nation of Switzerland.

July 2022 - Thailand has committed to the purchase of Hermes 900 drone aircraft.


Elbit Systems - Israel
Brazil; Chile; Colombia; Iceland; Israel; Mexico; Philippines; Switzerland; Thailand (announced)
Operators National flag of Brazil National flag of Chile National flag of Colombia National flag of Iceland National flag of Israel National flag of Mexico National flag of the Philippines National flag of Switzerland National flag of Thailand
Service Year
National Origin
Project Status

Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.

27.2 ft
(8.30 meters)
49.2 ft
(15.00 meters)
1,830 lb
(830 kilograms)
Empty Weight
2,601 lb
(1,180 kilograms)
Maximum Take-Off Weight
+772 lb
(+350 kg)
Weight Difference
monoplane / mid-mounted / straight
Mainplane Arrangement
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represents the most popular modern mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.

1 x Rotaz 914 engine developing 115 horsepower driving three-bladed propeller unit at the rear of the fuselage in "pusher" configuration.
137 mph
(220 kph | 119 knots)
Max Speed
115 mph
(185 kph | 100 knots)
Cruise Speed
+22 mph
(+35 kph | 19 knots)
Speed Difference
30,003 ft
(9,145 m | 6 miles)
1,553 miles
(2,500 km | 1,350 nm)
1,200 ft/min
(366 m/min)

MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

None. Only mission-specific payloads centered on ISR (Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance) carried.

Hermes 900 - Base Series Designation.

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Image of the Elbit Hermes 900 (Kochav)
Image from Elbit Systems marketing material.
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Image of the Elbit Hermes 900 (Kochav)
Image from Elbit Systems marketing material.

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