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Israeli Civil Aviation Authority Grants First UAS Certificate

Medium Size Military Drone Obtains Type Certificate in First for Unmanned Aircraft

Elbit Systems has obtained a landmark civil certification in Israel with the approval of its Hermes Starliner UAS. The aircraft can now fly within the civil airspace system without requiring segregated airspace along its route. 

The Civil Aviation Authority of the State of Israel (CAAI) says it makes a world first for an unmanned aircraft. The Starliner weighs in at 1.6 tons, carried by a 55-foot wingspan. It can fly for extended durations up to 25,000 feet and carry nearly 1,000 pounds of payload. Once ready for widespread use, it's expected to see service throughout a range of gov and military mission profiles, from anti-terro, search and rescue, crowd control, environmental inspections, and aerial survey. The UAV is expected to put up some stiff competition to a few competing systems around the world, already having been contracted by the Swiss Department of Defense and Canadian Ministry of Transportation for future service. 

The move comes after the ministry of Transport and Road Safety was spurred to allow for adaptation of land and aerial transport regulations where necessary to enable new aircraft developments within the country. With its status as a type certificated aircraft, the Starline can now obtain NATO standardization for eventual integration elsewhere. Until now, the process of getting it to where it is has taken 6 years of design and manufacturing to get it to operational status. Joel Feldschuh, head of the CAAI, is proud of the efforts that got the program to this point. 

"We are proud to issue the Type Certificate to the Hermes Starliner UAS, approving it to fly in civilian airspace as any other civil aircraft. As far as CAAI is aware, this is a world first”. CAAI is an active partner in the ICAO effort to update international regulations to accommodate Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems in civil airspace, and this Type Certificate granted to the Hermes Starliner UAS aligns with this international activity. This Type Certificate is the result of a fundamental process that we led for six years that included thousands of man hours, dozens of audits, laboratory tests, ground tests, intensive flight tests and thousands of documents,” said Feldschuh. 



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