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Israeli Air Force to get six more Hermes 900 UAVs in 2017

World Defense & Security News - Israel
Israeli Air Force to get six more Hermes 900 UAVs in 2017
The UAV squadron that operates the “Kochav” (Hermes 900) is on the way to FOC (Full Operational Capability), the Israel Air Force said on Monday, Dec. 19. In the coming year it is expected to receive more Hermes 900 UAVs and multiply its existent order of power by six.
Israel Air Force to get six more Hermes 900 UAVs in 2017 640 001Elbit Systems Hermes 900 UAV
(Credit: Elbit Systems)
The UAV Squadron that operates the "Kochav" (Hermes 900) UAV will multiply the number of Hermes 900 UAVs that it operates by six during the coming year. "The ‘Kochav' will revolutionize the world of UAVs", stated Lt. Col. Daniel, the Squadron Commander. "The platform is a base for many operational technological abilities that will be integrated and immigrate from manned to unmanned platforms".

On July 15, 2014, during operation "Protective Edge" over the Gaza strip, the UAV took off for its first operational mission in the IAF. Its mission was part of a process that ended with an airstrike that destroyed terror infrastructure. The "Kochav" gathered hundreds of flight hours throughout the campaign and performed its mission more than 100 times with an extremely high success rate.

Following operation "Protective Edge", the "Kochav" was officially integrated in the IAF and since then the squadron has grown steadily. "We are widely occupied with the technological capabilities of UAVs", shared Lt. Col. Daniel. "We are proceeding steadily and we recently broke the aircraft's endurance record and reached a number of hours that even the manufacturer couldn't reach".

Clearly, most of the interesting details regarding the aircraft are classified. But we can say that it consists of a technological quantum leap that provides the IAF with new capabilities and allows it to operate in very long ranges. The "Kochav" has a capacity of a 350 kg and is designed to be able to carry a number of payloads on a number of hardpoints under its wings. Its endurance abilities allow it to perform very lengthy, long range missions during a single sortie. "The integration of new abilities that expand the IAF's performance is another milestone in the aerial force's strengthening and renewal process", said Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, IAF Commander, in the "Kochav" integration ceremony a year ago. "The UAV division is developing quality and quantity wise and is taking a central position in most of the IAF's missions".

(Source: IAF/Nadav Shaham)