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15 Nov 17. Elbit Systems grows Hermes family with new tactical system. Elbit Systems has developed a small tactical-level unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that is designed to offer extended endurance.
The Hermes 45 draws on technology from the wider Hermes family of UAS, and Jane’s understands that it has a maximum operating endurance of in excess of 24 hours – more akin to that of a medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) system.
The air vehicle has a blended wing design with a combustion engine driving a pusher propeller. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 65 kg, including a payload capacity of up to 15 kg, and can simultaneously operate with up to three payloads.
Hermes 45 is primarily intended as an ISR asset, payloads earmarked for the UAS include electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors, maritime radar, and electronic and signals intelligence systems, among others.
The aircraft utilises a short rail launcher that can be installed on naval vessels and integrated on vehicles; it is recovered by an automated spot landing system that does not require a landing strip or other infrastructure. The exact details of the landing profile have not been revealed, although an examination of the vehicle’s design would suggest this utilises a parachute, the aircraft’s ability to deploy from naval vessels also points to an at-sea recovery capability – Elbit Systems has already developed this for its small Skylark C UAS. It is claimed that the air vehicle can be relaunched within 20 minutes of recovery.
Hermes 45 has an operational ceiling of 15,000 ft and can be controlled out to a range of 250 km; it can also utilise a satellite communications system. The system is operated by a two-person crew. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Nov 17. Aeronautics Ltd. in Alleged Corruption Investigation. Israeli police on Tuesday said they were investigating alleged corruption by the Israeli drone manufacturer Aeronautics Ltd. in connection with an unnamed “significant client.” Details of the investigation remain unclear due to a gag order.
The company issued a brief statement after the investigation was announced, saying it “will cooperate fully with any examination of any matter, and will do its best to ensure that the investigation will be as quick as possible.”
Since its founding in 1997, the Yavne-based company headed by CEO Col. (res.) Amos Mathan, has sold unmanned aerial systems and advanced intelligence systems to more than 45 defense, military and homeland security companies on five continents.
In August, the Defense Ministry temporarily suspended Aeronautics Ltd.’s license to export Orbiter 1K UAVs to Azerbaijan after one of its drones targeted an Armenian army position during a live July demonstration.
According to the complaint, when two of the company’s representatives expressed opposition to the attack by the “suicide drone,” senior company officials continued with the demonstration and the UAV exploded several dozen meters from the position. No casualties were reported.
Aeronautics Ltd. denied any wrongdoing, stating that the company operates in strict compliance with approvals from the Defense Export Control Agency and that operational use is solely authorized by the client.
“Aeronautics never conducts demonstrations on live targets, and this is also true in the case in question,” the company said.
Although Azerbaijan was not cited in the latest probe, defense industry sources estimate that 20% of Aeronautics Ltd.’s sales are to that country, indeed making it a “significant client.” (Source: UAS VISION/The Jerusalem Post)
15 Nov 17. Turkey’s newest armed drone makes debut at Dubai Airshow. After less than a year of development, a new extended-wing, armed version of the Karayel UAV by Turkey-based Vestel Defence Industry made its international debut among the static displays at this