Elbit has beaten rival Israeli UAV company IAI to be selected for the Swiss air force’s ADS 15 unarmed reconnaissance UAV programme. Elbit’s heavy fuel-engined Hermes 900 has been chosen in preference to the IAI Super Heron. However, the procurement must first negotiate Switzerland’s political process, which recently claimed the country’s new fighter programme in a public referendum. The ADS 15 UAV procurement is likely to be presented to the Swiss parliament as part of the 2015 armament proposal.
Switzerland has operated the ADS 95 Ranger since 2001.
The design was a development of the IAI Scout, engineered to meet the requirements of the European theatre. Development and manufacture were shared between IAI and RUAG, and it was also supplied to Finland. The ADS 15/Hermes 900 is due to replace the Ranger around 2020. Elbit has also received two contracts to upgrade the Bell AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter used by the US Marine Corps.
The company will provide helmet display tracker system kits for the aircraft, providing greater situational awareness with enhanced night vision and weapon sighting capabilities. The second contract covers the supply of tactical video datalinks.