Thursday, May 19, 2011

Report: Chile Acquires Hermes 900 UAVs

Chile has agreed to purchase a number of Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicles for its military, according to Flight International. Details are still sketchy. Elbit, the Israeli company that makes the Hermes line of UAVs, declined to confirm the deal. Chile's air force and army went with the Hermes 900 over a rival offer for Israel Aerospace Industries' Heron system, the magazine said. The Hermes 900 is one of the beefier UAVs in the market, in a class similar to the U.S.-built Predator drone. The 900 can operate long-range missions using either direct-link or satellite connections to its ground control station. The all-weather UAV has a maximum payload of 300 kg for missions such as infra-red imaging, laser targeting, communications links and electronic warfare. UPDATE: Elbit will supply ground control stations and various payload systems as part of the deal, according to an Israeli business publication. The main role for the Chilean Hermes 900s will be reconnaissance. Elbit's press release mentions a sale to a Latin American customer.

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