this contingency the UAVs owned by Thales UK are operated and
maintained by 32 Regiment Royal Artillery. Contractors on deployed
operations, supplied by U-TacS (a joint Thales and Elbit company)
are providing support in theatre. Sofar H450 demonstrated a
high safety record. To date, all take offs and landings have
been successful, and no air vehicles have been lost.
According to Drew Carmichael, special projects manager at DE&S,
the first in-theatre flight of H450 was conducted on June 14,
2007 and initial operating capability (IOC) was declared three
weeks later. "Since then it has been delivering an average
of 14 hours ISTAR output a day and has already surged to provide
24-hours of coverage in one 25-hour period." Said Carmichael.
troops from 32 Regiment Royal Artillery, assisted by contractor
personnel, practice flight preparation of Hermes 450 UAV at
a flight strip somewhere in the Middle East, representing conditions
similar to those experienced in the Southern Iraqi desert.