January 27, 2011:
After a year of leasing two Israeli Hermes 450 UAVs [VIDEO], Brazil has agreed to buy at least three more, in addition to the two they had on lease. Brazil joins some 20 other nations using this Hermes, including Mexico (recently ordered) and the U.S. Border Patrol (since 2004, along the Mexican border). The Hermes 450 has day/night vidcams for surveillance, and almost as important, a communications relay that enables troops in remote areas (Brazil is a big place) to stay in touch with each other. Hermes 450 can stay in the air for 20 hours at a time and go as far as 200 kilometers from its base. Its max ceiling is 6,500 meters/20,000 feet and carries a max payload of 150 kg/330 pounds, has a wingspan of 11.1 meters/34.5 feet and length of 6.5 meters/20 feet. The Hermes 450 is the main tactical UAV of the Israel Defense Force.
The half ton (450 kg) Hermes 450 is half the weight of the Predator, but for many nations seeking to obtain (and failing because the U.S. military had priority on all new production) Predator, Hermes is adequate for their needs. Hermes 450 is cheaper than Predator, and it doesn't hurt that Predator was developed from Israeli UAV designs.