Colombia Orders Mixed Fleet of Hermes 450 and 900 UAVs
Israel’s Elbit Systems announced a multimillion-dollar contract to supply its Hermes 450 and 900 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to a “Latin American customer.” The buyer was identified in press reports as Colombia.
Elbit said the contract includes universal ground control stations and payloads from its Elbit Systems Electro-Optics (Elop) division and communications intelligence (Comint), multimode radar and other sensors from its Elisra division. Deliveries will be made over the next two years.
Elbit describes the Hermes 450 tactical UAS as the “backbone” of the Israel Defense Forces, with additional service in other militaries. The aircraft has an mtow of 1,212 pounds (550 kg), maximum payload of 396 pounds (180 kg), range of 186 miles (300 km) and 17-hour endurance. The larger Hermes 900 has an mtow of 2,204 pounds (1,180 kg), 772-pound (350 kg) payload capacity and 36 hours endurance, the company said.
Colombia was identified as the buyer of the mixed fleet by Flightglobal Unmanned Daily News, citing sources in the Israeli defense establishment. The Colombian embassy in Washington, D.C., did not respond to AIN’s query seeking confirmation of the transaction.
In recent years, Elbit has been increasing its footprint in Latin America, winning electronics content on platforms such as the Brazilian KC-390 military airlifter. In June last year the company announced the first export sale of the Hermes 900 to a Latin American country identified by independent sources as Chile. The company has also sold the Hermes 450 to Brazil and Mexico. Its joint venture with Embraer Defense, Harpia Sistemas, is focused on unmanned aircraft systems.
Source: By Chris Pocock - AINONLINE News - 17 August 2012
Photo: The Elbit Systems Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance (Male) UAV in flight. The Israeli company announced a mixed-fleet sale of Hermes 900 and smaller 450 UAVs to a country identified independently as Colombia. (Photo by Elbit Systems)