T-Heron and Hermes 45

Two Israeli companies have recently launched new tactical unmanned air systems. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has unveiled the T-Heron, while Elbit Systems has announced a new small tactical unmanned air system called the Hermes 45. Both systems were announced in June ahead of the Paris Air Show.

The two systems are designed for tactical missions, although they differ in size and will therefore cater for slightly different operational requirements. The T-Heron is a derivative of IAI’s medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE)-class Heron family, including the Heron TP and Heron-1, which has now amassed over 1.7 million combat flight hours and seen operational usage by more than 50 customers.

The T-Heron will offer a payload capacity of up to 180kg (396lb) and the ability to carry several payloads at once. Powered by an already-certified Rotax engine, it will have 120kts (222km/h) maximum speed and be able to conduct operations up to 24,000ft. The T-Heron fits into the portfolio by offering the capabilities of a higher-end MALE platform for tactical missions that are usually carried out by a much smaller platform.

The T-Heron, a further version of IAI’s existing Heron family, is designed for tactical usage.
Israel Aerospace Systems

Meanwhile, Elbit Systems’ new tactical unmanned air system, the Hermes 45, is designed to offer what the company calls “a unique combination of extended range and duration with point launch and recovery” to enhance the intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities for brigade and division levels and for naval squadrons. Operated by a two-person crew, the Hermes 45 will be launched from a short onboard platform rail and recovered by an automated spot landing system. The system offers 108 nautical miles (200km) flight range or an extended beyond line of sight range via satellite communication. Its internal payload bay will support multi-payload operation with the capability to carry electro-optical/infrared, maritime radar, electronic warfare, terrain dominance and communications systems.

The Elbit Systems Hermes 45 is a new tactical unmanned system.
Elbit Systems