The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has declared full operational capability (FOC) for its Hermes 450 (H-450) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) during a ceremony at Murai Camp, Singapore.
The H-450 is delivered by Elbit Systems in May 2007. It is the first advanced UAV to achieve FOC status in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), and is operated by 116 Squadron, which is based at Tengah Air Base.
After taking delivery of the drones, the UAV pilots, air force engineers and maintenance crew have undergone intensive training to operate and maintain the aircraft, as well as integrate the aircraft to support the SAF’s operations.
Singapore Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen said: "The Hermes 450 is one of the most capable UAVs in its class and indeed, the world.
"UAVs have now become a critical asset to many military operations and have proven themselves to make a decisive difference to outcomes, whether it is in peacetime operations or battles.
"Compared to the older UAVs, the Hermes 450 enhances our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities with its extended endurance, advanced avionics and more capable sensors."
The H-4500 is powered by a R802/902(W) Wankel engine. It medium size UAV designed for tactical long endurance missions, with prime focus on reconnaissance, surveillance and communications relay.
The engine is operated from a ground control station. It features a 3-in-1 payload equipped with electro-optical, forward-looking infrared system and a laser designator, which enables the drone to enhance the user’s battlefield surveillance capabilities by conducting an array of missions, including target acquisition and designation, reconnaissance, and battle damage assessment.
The RSAF acquired five H-450 UAVs to complement the Searcher and Heron 1 unmanned platforms.
Apart from RSAF, the UAV is also operated by the air forces of Israel, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia and Cyprus.
Image: Singapore Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen receiving a brief on the capabilities of the H-450 unmanned aerial vehicle. Photo: © 2015 government of Singapore.