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Hermes 450
Hermes 450 of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Role Unmanned aerial vehicle
National origin  Israel
Manufacturer Elbit Systems
Designer Silver Arrow (Elbit Systems)
Introduction 1998
Status Active
Primary user Israeli Air Force
Unit cost
Variants Watchkeeper WK450
Elbit Hermes 900

The Elbit Systems Hermes 450 is an Israeli medium size multi-payload unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for tactical long endurance missions. It has an endurance of over 20 hours, with a primary mission of reconnaissance, surveillance and communications relay.


Map of Hermes 450 operators

File:Hermes 450 da FAB.jpg

Hermes 450 of the Brazilian Air Force.

A Hermes 450 taking off

Hermes 450 of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection

 Azerbaijan [2]
  • 10 Hermes 450 UAVs were purchased in 2008. On September 12, 2011, a UAV was reportedly shot down by the NKDA over the airspace of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.[3] Preliminary investigations carried out by the NKDA have determined the model to be a Hermes 450 type.[4]
 Botswana [5]
  • The Brazilian Air Force has, since December 2009 a unit under lease for 1 year of testing and evaluations in conjunction with the Brazilian Army and Brazilian Navy;[6] there are plans to buy two more.[7] The Brazilian Air Force operated two in 2011, with two more delivered in February 2013.[8]
  • In August 2012, Elbit won a multi-million-dollar contract to supply a mixed fleet of Hermes 900 and 450 unmanned air systems to Colombia.[9] In July 2013, the Colombian Air Force confirmed they have one Hermes 450 on order, to be accepted in the coming months.[10]
  • Two Hermes 450 were ordered by the Croatian military along with two smaller Skylark UAVs in late 2006, delivered in late 2007.
  • The Israeli Air Force, which operates a Hermes 450 squadron out of Palmachim Airbase south of Tel Aviv, has adapted the Hermes 450 for use as an assault UAV, reportedly equipping it with two Hellfire missiles or, according to various sources[which?], two Rafael-made missiles. According to Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese and independent reports, the Israeli assault UAV has seen extensive service in the Gaza Strip and was used intensively in the Second Lebanon War as well as in the 2009 Sudan air raids. Israel has not denied this capability, but to date, its policy has been not to officially confirm it either.
 United Kingdom
  • The H450 is operated by the 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery of the British Army on military operations in Afghanistan, supplied under a leasing contract starting July 2007 from a Thales/Elbit consortium.[15] Eight H450s have crashed in Afghanistan.[16] The British version is the only Hermes to use laser gyroscopes in its inertial navigation system. It does not have the option for wing mounted armament. The Hermes 450 is the basis of the British Army's Watchkeeper WK450, development of which started in July 2005 in conjunction with Thales. Watchkeeper is scheduled to replace Hermes. In September 2013, the Hermes 450 reached 70,000 flight hours supporting British troops in Afghanistan, the equivalent of 8 years of non-stop flying. The British have flown the Hermes 450 more than any other country in Afghanistan.[17]
 United States


General characteristics

  • Crew: 0
  • Capacity: 150 kg
  • Length: 6.1 m (20 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.5 m (34 ft 5 in)
  • Gross weight: 450 kg (992 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × UAV Engines Limited R802/902(W) Wankel engine, 39 kW (52 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 176 km/h (109 mph; 95 kn)
  • Cruising speed: 130 km/h (81 mph; 70 kn)
  • Range: 300 km (186 mi; 162 nmi)
  • Endurance: 20 hours (450LE - 30 hours)
  • Service ceiling: 5,486 m (18,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 4.6 m/s (900 ft/min)


  3. "Azerbaijani Drone Reportedly Downed Over Nagorno-Karabakh." RFE/RL. September 14, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  4. Mortimer, Gary. "Armenian military shoot down Israeli made drone operated by Azerbaijani armed forces." sUAS News. September 15, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  6. FAB apresenta primeiro avião não tripulado
  7. "Brazil selects Elbit's Hermes 450 UAV". Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  8. FAB Receives Two More Drones -, February 18, 2013
  10. La Fuerza Aérea de Colombia confirma finalmente la recepción de los UAVs Hermes 900 y 450 de Elbit Systems -, 24 July 2013
  12. "Aviones no tripulados de las Fuerzas Armadas contra el crimen" (in Spanish). El August 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-03. [dead link]
  13. Garibian, Pablo (2010-08-24). "Mexico buys drones, may use for marijuana search". Reuters. 
  15. Quentin Davies (26 January 2009). "Written Answers - Unmanned Air Vehicles". Hansard id=26 Jan 2009 : Column 40w. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  16. Andrew Robathan (24 January 2013). "Written Answers - Unmanned Air Vehicles". Hansard. 24 Jan 2013 : Column 2mc. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  17. Hermes 450 reaches 70,000 hours in Afghanistan -, 19 September 2013

External links

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