Elbit Systems presents its new Hermes 900 HFE drone destinated to Switzerland

On Monday, December 9, 2019, media had the opportunity to discover the brand-new Hermes 900 HFE reconnaissance drone on Emmen military airfield. On behalf of Armasuisse, Roland Ledermann, ADS 15 Project Manager, spoke on the topic of acquisition. Lt Col Daniel Böhm, responsible for the service introduction of the ADS 15 drone, spoke on behalf of the Air Force while Army’s Operations Command was represented by Col Christoph Fehr.

Hermes presents its new 900 HFE drone destinated to Switzerland 925 001 The Swiss defense procurement agency presented its new Hermes 900 HFE unmanned reconnaissance aircraft (source: Armasuisse )

Journalists took the opportunity to ask questions about the acquisition, introduction and use of the drone. After the presentations, they also had the opportunity to see the drone in the drone command hangar.

Six of these drones were acquired as part of the 2015 weapons program. The ADS 15 is the successor system for the ADS 95, which was decommissioned at the end of November 2019.

The Hermes 900 was designed as a derivative of the Hermès family of Elbit Systems, it made its first flight in December 2009. It is a derivative of the family "Hermes" 450. The "900" inherits building blocks reliable, ground support equipment, payloads and ground mission controls, while expanding the flight envelope and endurance to higher levels. Takeoff and landing are fully automatic. The UAS has been specifically designed for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR), homeland security, maritime patrol, border security and post-disaster investigations.

Hermes 900 can also be utilized for ground support and maritime patrol missions, as well as for integrated multi-platform, multi-sensor operations. 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. 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.

The first of the six drones acquired from the Israeli manufacturer Elbit Systems Ltd. was delivered in Switzerland on November 26, 2019. The last ADS 15 drone is scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force in 2021.