Warplanes: The Hawk Circles Over Mexico

Archives

March 30, 2011: The U.S. recently revealed that it has been flying Global Hawk UAVs high over northern Mexico, to collect information on Mexican drug cartels. In cases like this, Global Hawk is using its powerful sensors to fill in for reconnaissance satellites, which are always in short supply. This surveillance was done in cooperation with the Mexican government, which has smaller UAVs on order. Actually, Mexico is getting the same model UAV that the U.S. Border Patrol has been using for the last seven years. This is the Israeli Hermes 450. Brazil has also bought this model, along with some 20 other nations. The Hermes 450 has day/night vidcams for surveillance, and almost as important, a communications relay that enables troops in remote areas (northern Mexico, and adjacent areas in the U.S., are thinly populated and difficult for radio equipment) 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. Global Hawk can fly three times as high as Hermes, and cover a lot more territory per hour in the air.

The half ton (450 kg) Hermes 450 is half the weight of the competing, one ton, 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. Global Hawk weighs in at 13 tons.

Hermes 450 is cheaper than Predator, and it doesn't hurt that Predator was developed from Israeli UAV designs. Nevertheless, now that the U.S. Air Force is no longer buying the Predator (which has been replaced by the larger Reaper), the U.S. Border Patrol is buying Predators instead of Hermes 450s. There is now an unarmed civilian model of the Predator being marketed. The civilian version has been named Predator XP, in an attempt to identify with something that is old, reliable and still gets the job done.

 


Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close