Israel’s Elbit Systems and French company Sagem Défense Sécurité agreed on September 15 to form a joint venture by early next year. To be based at Eragny and Montluçon in France, the joint venture will market UAV systems in France and other designated markets, and will take over existing initiatives.
Elbit Hermes 450
Elbit Systems is showcasing a wide range of its products and capabilities here at Farnborough (Hall 1 Stand C14). Among them is CockpitNG, a new pilot interface system based on a 22-inch high-definition central display. All avionics components are integrated into a single suite employing touch-sensitive technology for ease of operation.
Elbit Systems (Stand N65) is showing a big-screen multimedia presentation here at Singapore entitled “Networking in Action.” The presentation features real-life combat situations and demonstrates how the “systems’ interoperability, in offensive operations on enemy territory, enables achievement of crucial objectives.” It also allows viewers to experience combat experiences and missions with special effects replicating how the systems work.
Hermes 90, the latest member of Elbit’s UAV family, is on show here at Paris for the first time. Its appearance comes shortly after the creation of a joint venture between the Israeli company and General Dynamics to promote the sale of unmanned air systems into the U.S., which Elbit now considers a “home” market.
Israel’s Elbit Systems has announced an agreement between its U.S.-based subsidiary and General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products to develop unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. government customers. The cooperative venture known as UAS Dynamics and based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, will produce aircraft for programs such as the U.S.
Two new medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs are due to make their first flights next year as European aerospace companies challenge the lead in this field established by Israel and the U.S. The BAE Systems Mantis technology demonstrator, unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in July, might become airborne as early as next month in Australia.
The Thales-led Watchkeeper program is on schedule for entry into service with British forces in 2010, having flown for the first time this year in Israel, where Elbit Systems designed and produced the Hermes 450 WK platform. Designated Hermes 450B, it will have a dual payload comprising gimbaled electro-optical/infrared cameras plus a laser target designator, together with a radar in a second gimbaled pod.
Elbit Systems has been awarded a contract valued at some $20 million to supply Hermes 450 UAV systems to an unnamed European country. The order specifies both air vehicles and complementary ground systems, for delivery next year.\
With no fewer than three on show, the Elbit Hermes 450 outnumbers any other machine type in the static park at Singapore ’08. The UAV has proved a major success for Elbit, with a number of important overseas sales, including to Singapore. The type has now logged more than 70,000 hours–mostly in operations supporting the Israel Defence Force. It can carry a 150-kilogram payload and flies at 16,000 to 18,000 feet.
Elbit has chosen the Paris Air Show to unveil its latest unmanned air vehicle design–the Hermes 900. Pitched as a tactical medium-altitude long-endurance vehicle, the yet-to-fly Hermes 900 fits neatly in size between the company’s Hermes 450 and the larger twin-engine Hermes 1500.