Israeli drone ordered by Swiss army crashes during test flight

One of six Hermes 900-type drones ordered by the Swiss army. Keystone / Georgios Kefalas

A Hermes 900 HFE drone intended for the Swiss army crashed in the Israeli desert on Wednesday during a test flight.  

This content was published on August 6, 2020 minutes

The drone was completely destroyed but there were no injuries or other damage to third parties, said the Federal Office of Defence Procurement (armasuisse) on Thursday. The army was informed of the crash by the Israeli manufacturer Elbit Systems. 

“The drone was intended to form part of the ADS15 procurement package for the Swiss Armed Forces. The cost of the damage will be covered by Elbit Systems Ltd,” said armasuisse. 

The cause of the crash is not yet known, and an investigation has been launched by the Israeli Ministry of Transport. 

More delay 

The Swiss army ordered six Hermes 900-type drones in 2015 at a cost of CHF250 million (around $256 million at the time).  

The crash is only going to further delay the commissioning of the new reconnaissance drones originally scheduled for late 2019. The sensor system, which should enable the drone to detect aircraft and helicopters and thus avoid collisions, is not yet available, armasuisse explained in mid-July. 

In addition, the certification of the ADS 15 surveillance system by the Israeli licensing authority is also taking longer than expected.  

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