Swiss Armed Forces reconnaissance drone system to be replaced

The Swiss Government announced on June 5 that the ADS 95 Ranger reconnaissance drone system, which the Swiss Armed Forces have been operating since 2001, will be replaced by 2020. The choice of the new model provides the basis for the dispatch on procurement.
Under the 2015 arms procurement programme, efforts are in progress to replace the current UAV system, which is reaching the end of its life cycle. In order to ensure its replacement in good time, the new model has been chosen, which allows the dispatch on procurement to be drawn up.

The model that has been chosen is the “Hermes 900 HFE”, manufactured by the Israeli Elbit Systems company. It is an unarmed reconnaissance drone system, which has been preferred to its competitor “Super Heron” built by Israel Aerospace Industries. The Hermes 900 HFE has been favoured because it delivered the better overall result in all assessed criteria. In the pre-evaluation, these two UAV systems were the best in meeting the requirements.
The Hermes 900 HFE system is an all-weather unarmed reconnaissance drone system that is more flexible, has longer endurance in the air and a wider operational range than the system currently in use.

The new UAVs are unarmed. Currently, combat drones are not an option for the DDPS. The use of the UAV will be explained extensively in the context of the dispatch on procurement, the Armed Forces Development Programme and the Security Policy Report. The decision to procure the new reconnaissance drone system (ADS 15), which will cost around 250 million francs, will most probably be submitted for approval to Parliament with the 2015 armaments programme.

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