IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


10th November, 2023 Security

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Given the tense situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, India is set to acquire additional Israeli medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles that will enhance the Indian Army’s surveillance capabilities along the northern borders.


  • The Hermes 900 StarLiner is an advanced, medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufactured by Elbit Systems, a leading defense technology company based in Israel.
  • It is an upgraded version of the Hermes 900 UAV and is designed for various civil and commercial applications.

Design and Capabilities

  • Structure and Build: The Hermes 900 StarLiner features a robust and aerodynamic design, with a wingspan of 15 meters and a maximum takeoff weight of 1,200 kilograms. It is equipped with advanced avionics and sensor suites for enhanced operational capabilities.
  • Endurance and Range: With its long endurance capabilities, the Hermes 900 StarLiner can remain airborne for more than 30 hours. It has an operational range of over 1,000 kilometers, making it suitable for extended surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
  • Payload and Sensor Integration: The drone is capable of carrying a wide array of payloads, including electro-optical and infrared sensors, maritime radar, communication systems, and electronic intelligence systems, enabling it to perform various missions with high precision and efficiency.
  • Autonomous Flight Capabilities: The Hermes 900 StarLiner is equipped with advanced autonomous flight systems, enabling it to take off and land automatically, follow pre-programmed flight paths, and adapt to changing mission requirements, making it a reliable and adaptable platform for diverse applications.


  • Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR): The Hermes 900 StarLiner is widely utilized for intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. Its advanced sensor suite and long endurance make it suitable for monitoring and providing real-time situational awareness in both military and civilian contexts.
  • Border and Maritime Security: The drone is effective in border and maritime surveillance, facilitating the monitoring of vast coastal areas and maritime zones, detecting potential security threats, and supporting search and rescue operations.
  • Environmental Monitoring: Its high-end payload capabilities enable the Hermes 900 StarLiner to support environmental monitoring missions, including wildlife protection, forest fire detection, and environmental conservation efforts.
  • Disaster Management: The drone's capabilities make it a valuable asset for disaster management operations, such as assessing damage, conducting search and rescue missions, and providing critical situational awareness during natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

Notable Features

  • Redundant Systems: The Hermes 900 StarLiner is equipped with redundant avionics and communication systems, enhancing its reliability and safety during missions.
  • Data Link and Communication: It features advanced data link systems that enable real-time data transmission, ensuring seamless communication between the drone and ground control stations.
  • Modular Payload Integration: The drone's modular design allows for easy integration of various payloads, making it adaptable to different mission requirements and operational scenarios.
  • Advanced Flight Control System: The Hermes 900 StarLiner incorporates a sophisticated flight control system, including automatic takeoff and landing capabilities, as well as the ability to operate in challenging weather conditions and complex environments.


The Hermes 900 StarLiner drone represents a significant advancement in UAV technology, offering enhanced capabilities for a wide range of civilian and military applications, and contributing to the advancement of operational efficiency and mission success in various sectors.


Q. Which of the following is a characteristic feature of the Hermes 900 StarLiner drone?

a) Short endurance and limited range

b) Low payload capacity and sensor integration

c) Limited autonomous flight capabilities

d) Redundant avionics and communication systems

Answer: d)