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description-1 = The Elbit Hermes 450 is one of the world's most popular armed drones, and is in service with nations like Israel, US, Singapore, Mexico, Croatia, Cyprus, Brazil and Colombia. The UAS has over 300,000 operational flight hours and has a "class leading" safety and reliability record.
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description-2 = The Hermes 450 incorporates cutting-edge payloads with selected dual-payload configurations, including EO/IR/Laser, SAR/GMTI & MPR, COMINT/COMMJAM, ELINT, hyper-spectral systems, large area scanning systems and other payloads. Hermes 450’s highly autonomous and ergonomic operation results in high mission effectiveness with no piloting skills required.
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description-3 = The system is easily mobilised and rapidly deployable. Mission management is performed via the Hermes ground control system (GCS). Hermes 450 can perform two concurrent missions from the same GCS using two ground data terminals (GDT). It has an endurance time of 17 hours.
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description-4 = The Hermes 450 has a maximum speed of nearly 180km/h, with a cruise speed of 130km/h, at a range of 300km. It's powered by a UAV Engines Limited R802/902(W) Wankel engine, 39 kW (52 hp).
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image-5 = images/UAV/13.jpg
description-5 = The RQ-4 was the type of US UAV shot down by Iran. It is a long-range surveillance aircraft that can survey as much as 100,000 square kilometres a day. Able to fly at high altitudes for greater than 30 hours, Global Hawk is designed to gather near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather – day or night. (Image courtesy of Northrop Grumman)
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description-6 = Global Hawk has amassed more than 250,000 flight hours with missions flown in support of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, North Africa, and the greater Asia-Pacific region. South Korea, Japan and the US all operate the Global Hawk. (Image courtesy of Northrop Grumman)
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image-7 = images/UAV/6.jpg
description-7 = Built by General Atomics, the MQ-1 Predator has been used by the US Air Force and CIA since 1995, with the capability to carry and fire two Hellfire missiles. It has seen combat in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq and Lybia, among others. (Image courtesy of US Defense)
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image-8 = images/UAV/7.jpg
description-8 = The Predator is operated by Italy, Turkey, UAE and Morocco, as well as the US. With a maximum speed of 217km/h and range of 1,250 kilometres, with an endurance of 24 hours. (Image courtesy of US Defense)
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description-9 = Chosen as Australia's first armed UAS, the MQ-9 Reaper is an evolution of the original General Atomics MQ-1 Predator, with the capability to carry up to 15 times the payload of the Predator. The Reaper can be used by the same ground control systems as the MQ-1s. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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image-10 = images/UAV/9.jpg
description-10 = The Reaper is a multi-mission, medium-altitude aircraft that carries a multi-spectral targeting system, which has a robust suite of visual sensors for targeting. The unit also incorporates a laser range finder/designator, which precisely designates targets for employment of laser-guided munitions, such as the Guided Bomb Unit-12 Paveway II. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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image-11 = images/MQ-9-Reaper.jpg
description-11 = The US Air Force has a fleet of nearly 200 MQ-9 Reapers, with plans to keep the UAS in service for the next decade at least. Each unit costs close to $16 million, with Australia committing to purchase between 12-16 units. Alongside Australia and the US, France, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK all operate the Reapers. (image courtesy of Defence)
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image-12 = images/MQ-9B-SkyGuardian-RPAS.jpg
description-12 = Australia is still yet to decide whether they purchase the Reaper Block 5 variant or the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, which is currently under development for the UK. The AIR 7003 project is valued between $1 and $2 billion. (Image courtesy of Defence)
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Photo Essay: Unmanned combat aerial vehicles from around the globe
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strike & air combat | 21 June 2019 | Louis Dillon
Autonomous systems are changing the way the ADF and militaries around the world conduct operations. Supporting combat, humanitarian and intelligence roles, the scope for evolution in these leading-edge capabilities is playing a key role in the development of existing and follow-on systems for Australia and its allies. Defence Connect will highlight some of these capabilities today.
With the news that Iran shot down a US military unmanned surveillance aircraft, an RQ-4A Global Hawk, we have decided to dive into the unmanned aerial aircraft capabilities from around the globe.
The action from Iran has been labelled a "very big mistake" by US President Donald Trump, however he conceded to reporters that the decision could have been made from human error.
Iran claims that the drone violated Iranian airspace, claiming that the RQ-4A was encroaching on their borders and conducting blatant spy missions over the country.
The Global Hawk is just one of the US' fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles, which includes the MQ-1 Predator, the MQ-9 Reaper (which Australia is also purchasing), with capabilities like the MQ-4C Triton also in the pipeline.
Around the globe, 29 countries are known to have operational armed drones.
Scroll through the photo gallery above for imagery of the world's capabilities.