Israeli aerospace firm Elbit Systems has announced that its Brazilian subsidiary was awarded a contract to supply Hermes 900 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to the Brazilian Air Force.
The medium-altitude, long-endurance drone can perform various missions, including intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance. It can also be used for ground support, maritime patrol missions, and integrated multi-platform and multi-sensor operations.
The system features a payload-carrying capacity of 350 kilograms (771 pounds), enabling it to carry standard and long-range laser weapons, large area scanning systems, wide-area persistent surveillance, and other equipment.
Hermes’ ground control system enables autonomous mission management. The system also allows the state-of-the-art UAS to conduct two missions simultaneously using two ground data terminals.
Although the company has not disclosed the total value of the agreement, it stated that the contract would be fulfilled over 16 months.
“We are proud to be an integral part of the [Brazilian Air Force] UAS fleet’s growth roadmap,” Elbit general manager Yoram Shmuely said in a press release. “We are pleased by the growing customer base of the Hermes family of UAS users around the globe.”
Bolstering Brazilian Air Force Capabilities
In addition to the Hermes drones, the Brazilian Air Force has recently acquired four Gripen E fighter aircraft from the Swedish Saab corporation. The combat jets will replace the country’s aging Mirage III aircraft.
Last month, the South American nation also received a second batch of Meteor missiles for its F-39 Gripen fighters. The new weapon system provides Brazil with a leap in air combat capability, significantly increasing the air force’s deterrent capability.
The Rio Times also reported last year that the Brazilian Air Force has been making progress in developing, manufacturing, and integrating a new data link system on its F-5 Tiger fighter-bombers. The second phase of flight testing was conducted in November and December.