Tel Aviv: Israeli company Elbit Systems was awarded a contract valued at $ 72 million to supply Hermes 900 Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and training capabilities to an international customer. The contract will be performed over a two-year period.
Under the contract, Elbit Systems will supply Hermes 900 UAS equipped with the SkEye Wide Area Persistent Surveillance system, SPECTROTM XR multi-spectral Electro-Optical payload, Satellite Communication, Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) payloads and additional capabilities. The Hermes 900 UAS has been selected to-date by more than 15 customers attesting to its competitive edge combining technological sophistication, reliability, open architecture and a solid growth path.
According to Yoram Shemuely, General Manager of Elbit Systems Aerospace, there is a growing demand for unmanned solutions. The systems that are included in the contract are used by the Israeli air force operating the Hermes-900. One such system that is enhancing the IAF’s UAS capabilities and add to their flight hours, is the Elbit systems SkEye optical payload. This payload has a combined capability of producing real time images with one billion pixels and allows to perform long endurance surveillance missions. Visual Intelligence (VISINT) gathering was traditionally available in a designated video format. The user could see and record only the area the Electro Optic (EO) payload was viewing, while missing the surrounding area.
SkEye, according to Elbit Systems changes this paradigm by persistently observing and recording a wider area than ever before and offering the system’s users the ability to select real-time or “back in time” video footage within the covered area without being limited to a single segment. Up to ten Regions of Interest (ROI) can be thoroughly analysed simultaneously using video footage from the recent and previous missions.
According to Elbit Systems, the advanced payload provides a complete high-resolution picture and up to 80 square kilometre diameter Field of View (FOV) to a large number of users. The Israeli company says that SkEye provides a clearer picture in less time, thus exponentially increasing trust in the decision making process. While looking over a large Area-of Interest (AOI), operators can zoom into multiple Regions of Interest (ROI) simultaneously and understand the connection between them. This is achieved without neglecting the rest of the area, which is still being recorded and constantly analysed.
At the heart of the system is an airborne segment consisting of the EO sensor unit, an advanced image processing unit, a large mass storage unit and analysis applications. Via an embedded data link, the relevant information is transmitted from the aircraft to the SkEye, Control and Management Centre (SCMC) (fixed or mobile), which can be integrated with the customer’s Command & Control (C2) solution.
SkEye features a fully-programmable alerting system that allows commanders to be notified of specific/unusual events through a customized alert profile. According to the Israeli company, these capabilities complement and enhance SkEye unparalleled persistent surveillance functions, providing operators with an exceptional solution for locating and monitoring different situations.