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Elbit Systems introduces life saving capability to its Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol Unmanned Aircraft System


Israeli Company Elbit Systems introduces a unique life saving capability to its Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Integrating detection and identification capabilities, onboard inflated life-rafts, and precision dispatch capability enables the UAS to perform long-range maritime Search and Rescue (SaR) missions. Such a configured Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol UAS was recently delivered to an undisclosed customer in South-East Asia.


Elbit Systems introduces life saving capability to its Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol Unmanned Aircraft System 925 001 Hermes 900 UAS Maritime SaR Search and Rescue body drop closeup. (Picture source Elbit Systems)


Adverse weather conditions and short endurance significantly degrade the SaR capabilities of manned aircraft, often preventing them from executing their missions. Capable of more than 24 hours of continuous flight, the Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol can operate in adverse weather conditions in both day and night. Equipped with the new SaR capability the UAS can increase the number of SaR missions that can be safely executed and improve the safety and effectiveness of maritime SaR response.

The Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol can carry up to four, six-person life-rafts that are integrated on its wings. Using an onboard maritime radar the UAS detects survivor situations. Upon detection the UAS’ Electro-Optic/Infra-Red (EO/IR) payload is deployed to provide visual identification, and a rapid calculation of the drop-point is performed, enabling the UAS to dispatch life rafts from a low-altitude of 600ft to a pin-pointed location at a safe distance from the survivors. A gradual inflation process of the life-rafts is initiated after dispatch and is completed upon landing.

The Hermes 900 Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAS is operational with Israeli Air Force since 2015 and was selected by numerous customers including Switzerland, the UK, Brazil, Mexico, and Chile, the EU and the UN, and countries in South-East Asia.

Hermes 900 is a new generation multi-role MALE (Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance) UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) produced by Elbit Systems. It features over-the-horizon, persistent multi-mission, multi-payload capabilities with a class-leading payload carrying capacity of 350 kg. Hermes 900 is capable of performing missions for area dominance and persistent ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance). Hermes 900 can also be used for ground support and maritime patrol missions, as well as for integrated multi-platform, multi-sensor operations.

Hermes 900 incorporates flexible, cutting-edge, multi-payload configurations. The system employs standard and long-range EO/IR/laser, SAR / GMTI & MPR, COMINT/DF, COMINT GSM, COMMJAM, ELINT, EW, hyperspectral systems, large area scanning systems, wide area persistent surveillance and other payloads.

Mission management is performed in a highly autonomous manner via the Hermes ground control system (GCS) designed to control combined Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 missions. Hermes 900 can perform two concurrent missions from the same GCS using two ground data terminals (GDT). Hermes 900 is the most recent MALE UAS procured by the IDF as well as by multiple international customers.