Monday, October 5, 2009

Elbit's Hermes 90 UAV makes debut with heavy-fuel engine

By Arie Egozi

Elbit Systems has performed the first flight of its Hermes 90 unmanned air vehicle powered by a heavy-fuel engine. Haim Kellerman, general manager of Elbit's UAV division, says the event marks a significant milestone in the company's naval activities. "We plan to test UAV landing on various naval platforms," he adds.

The use of kerosene-based diesel fuel (JP5/8) commonly used in jet aircraft engines offers a safer alternative to automobile gasoline. It also provides significant advantages in the naval and maritime environment, by enabling UAV operations and refuelling to be conducted from naval vessels.

Elbit's new Hermes 90 has an endurance of more than 15h, a mission range of more than 100km (55nm) and can be equipped to carry a variety of payloads. Its baseline configuration includes an Elop Micro Compass electro-optical sensor, which comprises a daylight colour TV camera, cooled thermal imager and a laser marker.


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