Chile Is First Export Success for Hermes 900

 - June 13, 2011, 7:15 AM
Elbit Systems has secured an order for an unspecified number of Hermes 900s for an unidentified Latin American country.

Elbit Systems of Haifa, Israel, announced the first export sale of its Hermes 900 unmanned aerial system to a “Latin American country,” identified by various sources as Chile. The number of systems and air vehicles to be supplied is unspecified, but the contract includes ground control stations and sensors, including the DCoMPASS (digital compact multi-purpose advanced stabilized system) and radar systems.

Manufactured by Elbit subsidiary Elop, DCoMPASS is a stabilized turret incorporating thermal imager, color TV, dual-band laser designator/rangefinder, inertial measurement unit and laser spot tracker. The Hermes 900s are believed to be intended for air force use and will be employed on maritime patrol and other surveillance functions. The Elbit system reportedly won the order against competition from the IAI Heron.

Hermes 900, a 970-kilogram (2,138-pound) UAV with a 300-kilogram (660-pound) payload capability, was developed as a “big brother” to Elbit’s highly successful Hermes 450. The 900’s systems are based on those of the 450, and it employs the same unified ground control station. The larger UAV has been marketed to existing operators of the 450 as it can dramatically increase capability without requiring new infrastructure.

Elbit is hopeful of securing further sales in Latin America, having already sold the Hermes 450 to Brazil and Mexico.