Hermes 90 Enhances Capabilities with a new Payload

Micro CoMPASS Integration Demonstrates Advanced Capabilities

Elbit Systems has completed a series of flight tests of its enhanced Micro CoMPASS electro-optic payload, flown on the new Hermes 90 unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The missions of the Hermes 90 will be enhanced through day and night capabilities, provided the payload's color CCD and cooled FLIR sensors. With this payload small UAS can able to perform target recognition and track mobile targets. It also features a laser rangefinder for accurate target positioning.  The FLIR uses continuous zoom, enabling effective transition from wide field of view orientation, zooming in for the collection of detailed mission intelligence and target recognition, keeping the target always in sight. Another platform that could use the new lightweight payload is the Skylark II electrically powered UAV, being fielded by the Republic of South Korea. Elbit is also proposing the combination of Micro CoMPASS and one of its small UAVs for the Israel Defense Force's brigade UAV program. (more... )

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The Storm can perform from prepared runways taking off and landing on wheels, or deploy from unprepared areas using a launcher and skids. Photo: Elbit Systems

The U.S. configuration of the Hermes 90 system, named STORM, is being offered for the joint US Navy / US Marine Corps Small Tactical UAS (STUAS) program by UAS Dynamics – jointly owned by Elbit Systems of America and General Dynamics Armaments and Technology Products. Among the systems competing for the program, Storm is considered one of the heavier platforms, but also the most robust and the one offering the highest payload weight capacity in this class. Supporting the Navy's requirements for payloads and propulsion, the Hermes 90 has already performed successful flight tests with a heavy fuel engine (HFE), a basic requirement and an important capability for maritime UAS operations when operating from ships. The flight demonstrations with the Micro CoMPASS are also an important part of this pre-qualification. The Marines require the STUAS payload to provide day and night capability with an objective requirement for laser designation capability. Sofar industry has yet to provide a multi-sensor payload to support all these requirements. According to Elbit Systems, Micro- CoMPASS will support laser designation capability.

The integration of Micro CoMPASS with the Hermes90 system fully supports the unique "fly by camera" flight mode, combining an automated control of the aerial vehicle and payload to keep the target in view. Combined with Micro CoMPASS, Hermes 90 is designed to perform missions with 15 hours endurance, at a range exceeding 100 kilometers. The Hermes 90 has automatic dual launch and recovery methods, including integral launcher for point launch and recovery on non-prepared surfaces without requiring dedicated ground equipment. Nevertheless, the aircraft can also perform from prepared air-strips as well, thus extending lifespan and reducing wear and tear during training and routine operations.

The system enables full integration with any C4I system, for fast imagery dissemination as well as easy coordination among the operational forces in the field. Thanks to these capabilities, the Hermes 90 is highly suited for various missions and particularly maneuvering forces, as well as homeland defense and other non-military missions.

Elbit Systems continues to add mission capabilities to the Hermes 90 such as the enhanced Micro CoMPASS payload and will integrate and test in the near future a laser designator to compliment the present capabilities.

 

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The Micro CoMPASS EO payload mounted on the Storm (Hermes 90) Small UAV. Photo: Elbit Systems