The Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (“DDPS”) has selected Elbit Systems Ltd., of Israel, as the “preferred supplier” for its UAS 15 new reconnaissance drone program.
Under the 2015 arms procurement program, efforts are in progress to replace the current UAV system, which is reaching the end of its life cycle, explains a press release issued by the Federal Department of Defence in Switzerland. In order to ensure its replacement in good time, the new model has been chosen, which allows the dispatch on procurement to be drawn up.
The model that has been chosen is the Hermes 900 HFE, manufactured by the Israeli Elbit Systems company. It is an unarmed reconnaissance drone system, which has been preferred to its competitor, Super Heron, built by Israel Aerospace Industries. The Hermes 900 HFE has been favored because it delivered the better overall result in all assessed criteria, says the Swiss government. In the pre-evaluation, these two UAV systems were the best in meeting the requirements.
The Hermes 900 HFE system is an all-weather unarmed reconnaissance drone system that is more flexible, has longer endurance in the air and a wider operational range than the system currently in use, says the Swiss press release.
“The new UAVs are unarmed,” adds the release. “Currently, combat drones are not an option for the DDPS. The use of the UAV will be explained extensively in the context of the dispatch on procurement, the Armed Forces Development Programme and the Security Policy Report. The decision to procure the new reconnaissance drone system (ADS 15), which will cost around 250 million francs, will most probably be submitted for approval to Parliament with the 2015 armaments programme.”