The decisive factor

Issue No. 6 | March 16-31, 2017Photo(s): By Elbit Systems

The Hermes 450 UAV division performs the most flight hours in the Israeli Air Force (IAF). In the first eight months of 2016, it clocked 16,807 flight hours. The division, which operates from Palmahim Air Force Base, performs the most flight hours of all IAF divisions. The small aircraft operates around the clock and calendar.

According to Lt Colonel Daniel, a UAV Squadron Commander, the Hermes 450 division is central part of the IAF's UAV division. “It combines excellent technological capabilities with low costs. It's a simple aircraft with great operational benefit”. Major Liran, Deputy Commander of the Squadron: “The division stands out with a large number of aircraft, so we can provide a large number of centres and assist multiple elements at once.”

The aircraft cooperates with almost every other IAF aircraft: its cooperation with the fighter division focuses on quick closure, it flies over enemy territory, identifies targets and contacts the attack aircraft. “The aircraft can direct the fighter to the target without it wasting time on understanding the mission. The operators see the target, analyse the data and communicate it to the attacker. This allows us to assist with a much higher pace of work,” explained Major Liran.

The division's slogan can't be missed in the squadron's briefing room: “To be a decisive factor in the next war”. In the past years, the division has implemented the slogan and made the UAV one of the most important aircraft in the IAF, a fact clearly expressed in the division's close cooperation with various IAF aircraft and divisions.