PH to acquire 4 Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles
The Philippine Air Force is acquiring four Elbit Systems Hermes 900 Kochav (Star) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program Second Horizon, this was confirmed by defense observer and analyst MaxDefense Philippines in an article dated August 8.
Hermes 900 is a next-generation multi-role medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial system (UAS). It is capable of performing missions for area dominance and persistent intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance also known as ISTAR, Elbit said.
Hermes 900 has a max speed of 220 km/h, cruise speed: 112 km/h, 36 hours endurance, and service ceiling of 9,100 m (30,000 ft).
MaxDefense said the project named as PAF Unmanned Aerial Vehicle acquisition has an approved budget for contract (ABC) worth PHP8.47 billion.
“Four UAVs are to be acquired under Horizon 2 phase, and it appears that based on the quantity and ABC, each complete set of Hermes 900 including the undetermined sensors package, integrated logistics support (ILS), training, support equipment and other ancillaries will cost around Php 2.12 billion (US$41.93 million) each,” MaxDefense said.
In fact, the highly reliable Hermes 450 accounted for a noteworthy 52 percent of the flight hours of the Israeli Air Force in 2016. Together with the bigger Hermes 900, the two account for about 70 percent flight hours of the Israeli Air Force. For unmanned flight hours of the Israeli Air Force, the two easily chalks 80 percent to 85 percent.