Six times more Kochav UAVs next year


The Is­raeli Air Force (IAF) UAV squadron that op­er­ates the Kochav (Her­mes 900) UAV will mul­ti­ply the num­ber of Her­mes 900 UAVs that it op­er­ates by six dur­ing the com­ing year. “The Kochav will rev­o­lu­tionise the world of UAVs”, stated Lt Colonel Daniel, the Squadron Commander. “The plat­form is a base for many op­er­a­tional tech­no­log­i­cal abil­i­ties that will be in­te­grated and im­mi­grate from manned to un­manned plat­forms”.

On July 15, 2014, dur­ing op­er­a­tion “Pro­tec­tive Edge” over the Gaza strip, the UAV took off for its first op­er­a­tional mis­sion in the IAF. Its mis­sion was part of a process that ended with an air strike that de­stroyed ter­ror in­fra­struc­ture. The Kochav gath­ered hun­dreds of flight hours through­out the cam­paign and per­formed its mis­sion more than 100 times with an ex­tremely high suc­cess rate.

Fol­low­ing op­er­a­tion “Pro­tec­tive Edge”, the Kochav was of­fi­cially in­te­grated in the IAF and since then the squadron has grown steadily. “We are widely oc­cu­pied with the tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties of UAVs”, shared Lt Colonel Daniel. “We are pro­ceed­ing steadily and we re­cently broke the air­craft’s en­durance record and reached a num­ber of hours that even the man­u­fac­turer couldn’t reach”.

Clearly, most of the in­ter­est­ing de­tails re­gard­ing the air­craft are clas­si­fied. But we can say that it con­sists of a tech­no­log­i­cal quan­tum leap that pro­vides the IAF with new ca­pa­bil­i­ties and al­lows it to op­er­ate in very long ranges. The Kochav has a ca­pac­ity of a 350-kg and is de­signed to be able to carry a num­ber of pay­loads on hard­points un­der its wings. Its en­durance abil­i­ties al­low it to per­form very lengthy, long range mis­sions dur­ing a sin­gle sor­tie.

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