Israel declares powerful ‘Kochav’ drone operational

The IAF has made a quantum leap in its drone capabilities with the integration of the upgraded ‘Kochav’ drone.

The “Kochav” (star in Hebrew) Elbit Hermes 900 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle was officially declared operational on Wednesday and will be incorporated into Israel’s Air Force (IAF).

The IAF conducted a series of examinations on the Kochav, which was officially declared fully functional upon the completion of its operational integration process.

The inspection dealt with the aircraft’s operation and maintenance, and the squadron’s flight department’s capability to receive a mission from HQ and complete it successfully, among other requirements, the IAF stated.

“Since the Kochav arrived, we have all been working towards the moment when we will begin flying operationally, and by doing so, better address the IAF’s missions. We are now closer than ever,” said Maj. C, Commander of the Squadron’s Systems Department, who also headed the Squadron’s “Kochav” integration team.

“The Kochav is the most advanced aircraft in the IAF’s UAV Division, but it is also a new one, with little experience”, explained Lt. Col. Daniel, Commander of the Squadron that operates the Kochav. “We are discovering new things about the platform, and gaining experience as we go along. Walking down an unpaved road is bumpy and difficult, but there is also a great joy in being the first ones to integrate and develop a platform”.

Even though the Kochav was just now declared officially operational, it underwent its operational initiation in 2014 when it participated in Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza.

The significant advancements in the Elbit Systems Hermes-900 are its high carrying capacity and large build, which allow it to carry a number of different payloads at once. The aircraft was also built to carry payloads on a number of locations on its wings. In addition, its endurance capability, up to 36 hours, in accordance with its load, allows for the performance of very long missions at long ranges.

By: World Israel News Staff