Elbit Hermes 450

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hermes 450
US Customs and Border Protection unmanned aerial vehicle.jpg
Hermes 450 of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Role Unmanned aerial vehicle
National origin  Israel
Manufacturer Elbit Systems
Designer Silver Arrow (Elbit Systems)
Introduction 1998
Status Active
Primary user Israeli Air Force
Unit cost
Variants Watchkeeper WK450
Elbit Hermes 900

The Elbit Systems Hermes 450 is an Israeli medium size 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.


Map of Hermes 450 operators
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 NKDA over the airspace of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.[3] Preliminary investigations carried out by the NKDA 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]
  • The Israeli Air Force, which operates a Hermes 450 squadron out of Palmachim Airbase south of Tel Aviv, has adapted the Hermes 450 for use as an assault UAV, reportedly equipping it with two Hellfire missiles or, according to various sources,[which?] two Rafael-made missiles. According to Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese and independent reports, the Israeli assault UAV has seen extensive service in the Gaza Strip and was used intensively in the Second Lebanon War as well as in the 2009 Sudan air raids. Israel has not denied this capability, but to date, its policy has been not to officially confirm it either.
In August 2014 Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps announced it had shot down an Israeli Hermes 450, which utilized radar-absorbent materials, heading toward the Natanz nuclear facility; releasing video of the wreckage.[14][15]
 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.[17] Of the 52 operated by the British in Afghanistan eight have on occasion crashed.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]


General characteristics

  • Crew: 0
  • Capacity: 150 kg
  • Length: 6.1 m (20 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)
  • Gross weight: 450 kg (992 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 (81 mph; 70 kn)
  • Range: 300 km (186 mi; 162 nmi)
  • Endurance: 20 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 Nagorno-Karabakh." 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. ^ "Aviation 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. ^ "Elbit Systems sells Hermes UAVs to Colombia". 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. ^ "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. 
  12. ^ Garibian, Pablo (2010-08-24). "Mexico buys drones, may use for marijuana search". Reuters. 
  13. ^ "Hermes 450". israeli-weapons.com. 
  14. ^ Gili Cohen (25 August 2014). "Iran reveals footage of alleged Israeli spy drone". Haaretz. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  15. ^ Ariel Ben Solomon (25 August 2014). "Iran vows to send arms to West Bank in response to drone". jp. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "United Kingdom". thalesgroup.co.uk. 
  17. ^ Quentin Davies (26 January 2009). "Written Answers - Unmanned Air Vehicles". Hansard. 26 Jan 2009 : Column 40w. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  18. ^ Andrew Robathan (24 January 2013). "Written Answers - Unmanned Air Vehicles". Hansard. 24 Jan 2013 : Column 2mc. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  19. ^ Hermes 450 reaches 70,000 hours in Afghanistan - sUASNews.com, 19 September 2013
  20. ^ British Army confident on Watchkeeper service entry - Flightglobal.com, 16 January 2014
  21. ^ British Army praises performance of Watchkeeper during debut deployment - Flightglobal.com, 17 November 2014

External links[edit]