Elbit Hermes 450

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Hermes 450
Hermes450 SIGINT Farnborough.jpg
Hermes 450 in a SIGINT configuration at Farnborough Air Show, England in July 2006
Role Unmanned aerial vehicle
National origin Israel
Manufacturer Elbit Systems
Introduction 1998
Status Active
Primary user Israeli Air Force
Unit cost
Variants Thales Watchkeeper WK450
Developed into Elbit Hermes 900

The Elbit Hermes 450 is an Israeli medium-sized multi-payload unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for tactical long endurance missions. It has an endurance of over 20 hours, with a primary mission of reconnaissance, surveillance and communications relay. Payload options include electro-optical/infrared sensors, communications and electronic intelligence, synthetic-aperture radar/ground-moving target indication, electronic warfare, and hyperspectral sensors.


Map with Hermes 450 operators in blue and former operators in red
A Hermes 450 landing
Hermes 450 of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
 Azerbaijan [2]
  • 10 Hermes 450 UAVs were purchased in 2008. On September 12, 2011, a UAV was reportedly shot down by the ARDA over the airspace of the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh.[3] Preliminary investigations carried out by the ARDA have determined the model to be a Hermes 450 type.[4]
 Botswana [5]
  • The Brazilian Air Force has, since December 2009 a unit under lease for 1 year of testing and evaluations in conjunction with the Brazilian Army and Brazilian Navy;[6] there are plans to buy two more.[7] The Brazilian Air Force operated two in 2011, with two more delivered in February 2013.[8]
  • In August 2012, Elbit won a multimillion-dollar contract to supply a mixed fleet of Hermes 900 and 450 unmanned air systems to Colombia.[9] In July 2013, the Colombian Air Force confirmed they have one Hermes 450 on order, to be accepted in the coming months.[10]
 North Macedonia
  • Philippine Army - Elbit Systems through a press release on their website announced that they were awarded a US$153 million contract to supply a networked multi-array unmanned aerial system array to a Southeast Asian army. According to Maxdefense, that country is the Philippines and is a part of the C41STAR Unmanned Aerial Systems Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army. The acquisition includes Elbit Thor Multirotor VTOL Mini UAS (Level 1), Elbit Skylark 1-LEX Mini UAS (Level 1), Elbit Skylark 3 Tactical Small UAS (Level 2), and Elbit Hermes 450 Tactical Long Endurance UAS (Level 3).[14][15]
  • The Philippine Air Force received full delivery of three Hermes 900 and one Hermes 450 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) as part of a contract worth approximately $175 million. Each system consists of three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a ground control system and support equipment. Elbit Systems also included a spare used Hermes 450 UAV as part of the deal, for a total of 9 Hermes 900 UAVs and 4 Hermes 450 UAVs. These units will be operated by the 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing.[16]
  • The Royal Thai Army has taken delivery of four Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, The UAVs are operated by the 21st Aviation Battalion at the Army Aviation Centre at Lopburi.[18]
 United States

Former operators[edit]

 United Kingdom
  • The H450 was operated by the 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery of the British Army on military operations in Afghanistan, supplied under a leasing contract starting July 2007 from a Thales/Elbit consortium.[20] Of the 52 operated by the British in Afghanistan eight have on occasion crashed.[21] The British version was the only Hermes to use laser gyroscopes in its inertial navigation system. The UK Ministry Of Defence did not take up the option for wing mounted armament. The Hermes 450 is the basis of the British Army's Watchkeeper WK450, development of which started in July 2005 in conjunction with Thales. In September 2013, the Hermes 450 reached 70,000 flight hours supporting British troops in Afghanistan, the equivalent of 8 years of non-stop flying. The British had flown the Hermes 450 more than any other country in Afghanistan.[22] As of January 2014, British Hermes 450 air vehicles flew over 86,000 hours over Iraq and Afghanistan. Up to nine aircraft operated from Camp Bastion and conducted five flights per day, accumulating a combined 70 hours of surveillance coverage.[23] When the Watchkeeper WK450 entered service in Afghanistan in mid-September 2014 and the ground-based radar coverage at Bastion was switched off, the British Army stopped using the interim leased Hermes 450.[24]


General characteristics

  • Crew: 0
  • Capacity: 150 kg
  • Length: 6.1 m (20 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.5 m (34 ft 6 in)
  • Gross weight: 550 kg (1,213 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × UAV Engines Limited R802/902(W) Wankel engine, 39 kW (52 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 176 km/h (109 mph, 95 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 130 km/h (80 mph, 70 kn)
  • Range: 300 km (190 mi, 160 nmi)
  • Endurance: 17 hours (450LE - 30 hours)
  • Service ceiling: 5,500 m (18,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 4.6 m/s (900 ft/min)



  1. ^ http://www.isr.umd.edu/~austin/enes489p/projects2011a/BorderSecurity-Air-Team-FinalReport.pdf
  2. ^ "News.Az - List of ammunition purchased by Azerbaijan made public". news.az.
  3. ^ "Azerbaijani Drone Reportedly Downed Over Republic of Artsakh." RFE/RL. September 14, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Mortimer, Gary. "Armenian military shoot down Israeli made drone operated by Azerbaijani armed forces." sUAS News. September 15, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  5. ^ "ok News - Aviation Industry and Airline Statistics".
  6. ^ "FAB apresenta primeiro avião não tripulado". Archived from the original on 2011-01-23.
  7. ^ "Brazil selects Elbit's Hermes 450 UAV". Retrieved 2010-12-19.
  8. ^ FAB Receives Two More Drones - Defense-Aerospace.com, February 18, 2013
  9. ^ Up.com/news/articles/elbit-systems-sells-hermes-uavs-to-colombia-375131/ "Elbit Systems sells Hermes UAVs to Colombia" Check |url= value (help). Flightglobal.com.
  10. ^ La Fuerza Aérea de Colombia confirma finalmente la recepción de los UAVs Hermes 900 y 450 de Elbit Systems - Infodefensa.com, 24 July 2013
  11. ^ https://www.airliners.net/photo/Macedonia-Air-Force/Silver-Arrow-Hermes-450/2337877/L
  12. ^ "Aviones no tripulados de las Fuerzas Armadas contra el crimen" (in Spanish). El Golfo.info. August 1, 2009. Archived from the original on August 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  13. ^ Garibian, Pablo (2010-08-24). "Mexico buys drones, may use for marijuana search". Reuters.
  14. ^ "Elbit Systems Awarded $153 Million Contract to Provide a Networked Multi-Layered UAS Array to an Army in Southeast Asia". Elbit Systems.
  15. ^ "C4ISTAR- Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) (Horizon 2) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Army". Maxdefense Philippines.
  16. ^ "Philippine Air Force receives full delivery of Hermes 900, Hermes 450 UAVs: report". Israel Defense. 10 September 2020.
  17. ^ "Hermes 450". israeli-weapons.com.
  18. ^ "Thailand expands ties with Israel through UAV acquisition". janes.com.
  19. ^ "United Kingdom". thalesgroup.co.uk.
  20. ^ Quentin Davies (26 January 2009). "Written Answers - Unmanned Air Vehicles". Hansard. 26 Jan 2009 : Column 40w. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  21. ^ Andrew Robathan (24 January 2013). "Written Answers - Unmanned Air Vehicles". Hansard. 24 Jan 2013 : Column 2mc. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  22. ^ Hermes 450 reaches 70,000 hours in Afghanistan - sUASNews.com, 19 September 2013
  23. ^ British Army confident on Watchkeeper service entry - Flightglobal.com, 16 January 2014
  24. ^ British Army praises performance of Watchkeeper during debut deployment - Flightglobal.com, 17 November 2014
  25. ^ "Hermes™ 450 - Tactical Long Endurance UAS". Elbit Systems Australia. Retrieved 2020-09-13.

External links[edit]