The unmanned aircraft is capable of operating in civilian airspace to assist homeland and border security missions.
Elbit Systems has commenced global marketing of its new Hermes 900 StarLiner Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
The aircraft is capable of operating in adverse weather and is fully compliant with NATO’s Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 4671, qualifying it to be safely integrated into civilian airspace and fly in the same environment with manned aircraft.
The Hermes 900 StarLiner has been performing Civil Aviation Authority certified flights in Masada National Park, Israel, concluding an extensive year-long flying schedule. A series of the Hermes 900 StarLiner (known as Hermes 900 HFE in the Swiss programme) is currently being assembled for the Swiss Armed Forces and is scheduled to be delivered and integrated into Switzerland NAS during 2019.
Addressing security challenges
Elbit has launched the unmanned aircraft in response to European countries now re-orienting defence efforts to coping with intensifying homeland and border security challenges, resulting in a growing demand for UAS which can be safely integrated into civilian airspace. Elad Aharonson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR Division, said: “Anticipating the rising security need for operating unmanned aircraft in the same environment with civilian manned aircraft enabled us to achieve this breakthrough. We are committed to maintain our approach of technological innovation based on an extensive operational experience and provide our customers with advanced yet mature systems that enhance effectiveness and safety when coping with the evolving national security needs.”
The Hermes 900 Starliner draws on technology from the widely operational Hermes 900 and Hermes 450. Elbit Systems has conducted an extensive multi-year research and development effort focusing on producing a mature UAS that complies with civilian airspace regulations and can be safely integrated into European NAS.
Meeting airspace regulations
The new aircraft has been designed to meet strict safety and certification requirements of non-segregated airspace regulations. This required all components to be designed in full compliance with STANAG 4671 and to incorporate the most advanced aviation technologies, including: cooperative and non-cooperative Detect and Avoid Systems, Train Avoidance Warning System, Automatic Take-off and Landing in near zero visibility, redundant broad bandwidth line-of-sight (LOS) and beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) data link and adverse weather capabilities such as de-icing and direct lightning strike sustainment.
The technological enhancements will allow the aircraft to operate in both visual and instrument meteorological conditions. The powerful heavy fuel engine provides improved climb rate, extended endurance and higher ceiling and maximum speed.