The Hermes 900 unmanned aircraft made the first flight from an airfield in the western Negev desert on December 9, 2009. The developer, Elbit
Systems plans to conduct more test flights soon, commencing with serial production of the UAV. Current users of Hermes 450 type, including the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have expressed interest in the new capability. Unlike other Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV systems, such as the MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and Heron I, the Hermes 900 can be operated as part of existing, tactical UAV units currently operating the smaller Hermes 450 and Hermes 90. Such capability can dramatically extend mission endurance, payload capacity and operational capabilities of operational units, without fielding additional infrastructure and support.