Defense chief confirms delivery of drones from Israel

National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed during September 30 Senate committee hearing on Department of National Defense (DND)’s 2020 budget the the Philippine Air Force (PAF) received its first two Hermes 450 medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israeli firm Elbit Systems.

“We’ve received two of our bigger drones — the Hermes 450 — and we expect more deliveries this year and next year,” Secretary Lorenzana said.

Secretary Lorenzana said that the two Hermes 450 UAVs arrived in August.

MaxDefense Philippines said in early this month that the two UAVs were delivered and were conducting test flights from Fernando Air Base in Lipa City, Batangas.

Under the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Level 3 Acquisition Project through the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program, PAF is set to receive 1 complete system of Hermes 450 with 3 new UAVs and 3 complete systems of Hermes 900 with 3 UAVs each.