> our title:
Swiss Fly-off to Select Winning UAV
> original title:
Flight Tests for the Acquisition of a New Reconnaissance Drone
(Source: armasuisse Swiss Armaments Agency; issued Aug. 30, 2012)
(Unofficial English translation by defense-aerospace.com)
Derived from IAI’s Scout UAV by Ruag Aviation, the Swiss air force’s Ranger UAV will be replaced by either IAI’s Heron 1 or Elbit’s Hermes 900, which will be evaluated in September and October. (Swiss AF photo)
Out of the eleven systems made by nine companies that were originally in the running, those submitted by Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit Systems Ltd. remain in contention.
The trials will be performed in September (3/9 to 21/9) and October (1/10 to 19/10) by a project team comprising the Swiss Air Force and armasuisse specialists. Flight testing will take place in central Switzerland and in the Jura region.
These flights are part of the overall evaluation of the two systems competing for the Swiss acquisition program, the Hermes 900 (Elbit) and Heron 1 (IAI).
Selection of the winner is expected for the first half of 2014, and its acquisition will be included in the Armaments Plan 2015.
Currently, the Swiss Air Force operates the reconnaissance drone 95 (ADS 95), which will reach the end of its useful life the coming years.
Within the framework of the in-flight evaluation, media will have the opportunity to form an impression of the two UAV systems evaluated, on September 20 for the IAI design and October 16 for Elbit’s, during specific press days.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Swiss air force’s current UAV, ADS 95, is the Ranger, developed to its own requirements by the Federal Aircraft Factory at Emmen (now RUAG). A total of 28 systems were ordered, the first of which entered service in 2001; 16 now remain in operational service.)