The Brazilian Air Force has awarded a follow-on contract to AEL Sistemas S.A. for the delivery of additional Hermes 900 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) developed by Israeli defense company Elbit Systems.
AEL is a subsidiary of Elbit Systems and is poised to perform work under the contract over the next 16 months.
While Elbit did not specify, the Brazilian Air Force said on December 30 that the contract would bring its fleet of Hermes 900s from two to four.
Over the past decade, the FAB has been operating a mixed fleet of Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 UAS to perform a range of missions including homeland security and deforestation monitoring operations in the Amazons.
Brazil placed the order for additional Hermes UAS despite having previously entered into an agreement with Embraer for the conceptual design and development of an advanced UAS, after abandoning a project to develop an indigenous UAS in 2015.
“We are proud to be an integral part of the FAB UAS fleet’s growth roadmap. We are pleased by the growing customer base of the Hermes family of UAS users around the globe,” Yoram Shmuely, general manager of Elbit Systems’ Aerospace, commented.
In early 2020, Elbit announced an order for the upgrade of Hermes UAS for two Latin American operators, without specifying their identities. In addition to Brazil, Chile, Colombia or Mexico are known Hermes 900 operators.
The medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAS features over-the-horizon, persistent multi-mission, multi-payload capabilities with a payload carrying capacity of 350 kg. It is capable of performing missions for area dominance and persistent intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR), and has been selected by 12 countries to date, according to Elbit.