Hermes 900: Newest and Most Advanced UAS

By admin 14-Apr-2016


Following the changes in policy that the Indian market is undergoing due to the "Make in India" program, the regulatory environment is now more open to cooperation, and cooperation is part of Elbit Systems’ DNA.  As a high technology company Elbit Systems’ vision is to achieve operational excellence in its target markets, India being one of them. 

The newest and most advanced Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), Hermes 900 offered by Elbit Systems,  is a next-generation multi-mission, multi-payload Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAS. The Hermes 900 UAS has been selected by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Switzerland, Brazil, Chile and additional undisclosed customers and is the most suited solution for any type of persistent ISR, area dominance, ground support, and maritime patrol mission. Designed for minimal maintenance, Hermes 900 is not only a highly mission effective system but also a system with lower life cycle costs. 

Hermes 900 is a natural extension of the successful Hermes 450, which has a track record of over 500,000 accumulated flight hours. Among the key capabilities offered by the Hermes 900 are longer endurance, flight altitude of 30,000 ft. and a large payload capacity (up to 350kg). A unique 2.5 meter long internal payload bay is provided, capable of accommodating up to 250 kg and allowing quick modular payload installation and replacement, as well as additional payload installation capacity including four hard points under the wings. The UAS includes innovative avionics and electronic systems, a low noise engine, as well as solutions that can be offered for sense & avoid capabilities and safe integration of the UAS into the relevant air space.  Hermes 900 was developed in accordance with STANAG 4671 to the highest standards of safety and airworthiness. To facilitate capabilities to operate in adverse weather a suite of payloads is available as well as payloads such as SAR/GMTI capable of operating in cloud conditions.

The advanced Hermes 900 systems’ architecture separates safety critical flight systems from mission systems providing much greater flexibility and cost/optimization in integration of new, even customer indigenous, payloads. The modular internal payload bay is also an important enabler for easy and modular payload integration and installation.Hermes 900 system provides rich and versatile multi-payload configurations offering unique cutting edge sensors and systems with flexible and modular installation. The following payloads and sensors are offered to accomplish a wide 

variety of missions:  

 Digital EO/IR/Laser payload – DCoMPASSTM

 SAR/GMTI & MPR Radar 

 SIGINT payloads: Skyfix COMINT/DF; Skyfix-G COMINT GSM system; SKYJAM communication jamming system; AES210 V/V2 ESM (ELINT) system;  additional EW systems

 Stand off Long Range EO/IR/Laser system - AMPS                                                   

 Electro optic Mapping and Survey/Scanning system - LASSO 

 Wide Area Persistent System (WAPS)

 Other  payloads

 Customer designated payloads

Hermes 900 also offers an advanced satellite communication data link and is operated from Elbit Systems' Universal Ground Control Station (UGCS), enabling advanced mission management, highly autonomous and mission effective operation and automatic takeoff and landing capability common to all the UAS in the Hermes family.

The advantages of using Satellite Communications (SATCOM):SATCOM is extremely important for a UAS in the Hermes 900's category as it provides significantly enhanced mission flexibility. Leveraging SATCOM and 

Hermes 900's long endurance, the system can perform missions at very long distances from the operating base constituting a "long arm" capability. In addition, the UAS can takeoff from a launch and recovery site in theater and be controlled from a mission station positioned remotely and conveniently in the user's home facilities thousands of miles away. Another significant advantage of SATCOM is the ability to fly at very low altitudes, without the limitation of line of sight obstruction caused by topography, as there is no need for line of sight between the UAS and its ground control station. In order to implement this capability, Elbit 

Systems uses a cutting edge SATCOM system that combines highly advanced technologies, increasing band width efficiency and assuring maximum cost effectiveness for its customers. 

The Universal  Ground Control Stations (UGCS):UGCS is capable of controlling multiple types of UAS, and this  incorporate functionality derived from decades of UAS operations in Israel and support all mission phases from mission planning and preflight checks, through mission execution, debrief and training. Elbit Systems’ UGCS is especially designed for maximal flexibility in incorporating various payload types, data links and even other types of UAS. The UGCS is capable of concurrently controlling two parallel UAS missions using two Ground Data Terminals (GDTs).  Each basic mission is fully controlled by a single operator. Hermes ground control station’s operation is highly autonomous and implements an advanced, proven, and ergonomic Human Machine Interface design. The high level of system autonomy enables the operator to focus on mission execution rather than on flying the air vehicle. For example, the same operator can control both the air vehicle and the EO/IR/Laser payload including slaving the air vehicle to the payload ("fly-by-camera:"). The 

UGCS is capable of disseminating data and video via WAN to remote HQ and/or other networked entities and can be integrated into the customer’s C4I infrastructure. Supporting maritime patrol applications is an embedded maritime command and control capability.Hermes 900 broadens the Elbit Systems’ UAS portfolio, which offers its customers a variety of mission capabilities, from mini-UAS, through tactical UAS, and up to higher chains of command for ground, naval and air forces. The operational experience accumulated by the Hermes systems for the Israeli 

Defense Forces and other leading armies worldwide, as well as the ongoing improvements based on its operational track record, have maintained this UAS family's leadership in performance, reliability, variety of mission-oriented payloads and more.