March 8, 2013

Israel's Hermes 900 Drone - Predator Clone?


 Israel's Hermes 900 drone appears to be an authorised Predator clone. Not only is its appearance almost identical to the Predator (though Hermes has an upturned Predator B/Reaper style tail) but its weight, speed and other characteristics are. It is extraordinary that  Israel's Elbit arms company is permitted to sell the Hermes to foreign customers - presumably in competition with the US built Predator.

The similarities reflect the close political ties between the US and Israel and close collaboration between their military-industrial complexes.
Israel's Elbit arms company, the Hermes 900's builder declares :
"Hermes® 900 is our next generation multi-role MALE UAS. It features over-the-horizon, persistent multi-mission, multi-payload capabilities with class leading payload carrying capacity of 350 kgs. It is capable of performing missions for area dominance, persistent intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR). Hermes® 900 also can perform ground support and maritime patrol missions, and offers the capability for integrated multi-platform, multi-sensor operation. Based on the heritage of over 300,000 operational flight hours of the Hermes® 450 UAS, the Hermes® 900 employs identical building blocks using a larger air vehicle with nearly double the performance. Hermes® 900 incorporates flexible cutting edge multi- payload configurations employing 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 (GDTs).
Hermes® 900 is the most recent MALE UAS procured by the IDF as well as by multiple international customers."

Hermes Specifications include:
Length: 8.3 m 
Wingspan: 15 m
Gross weight: 1,100 kg 
Maximum speed: 220 km/h

Meanwhile Predator specs include:

Length: 8.22 m 
Wingspan: 14.3 to 16.8 m 
Gross weight: 1,020 kg
Maximum speed: 217 km/h 

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