India’s growing prowess in defense manufacturing received a boost with the Adani-Elbit joint venture delivering over 20 Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAVs to Israel. This marks a significant achievement, as the Hyderabad-based Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd became the first entity outside Israel to manufacture these advanced drones.

While contributing to Israeli defense through exports, Adani-Elbit has also secured initial orders from the Indian Army and Navy for two Hermes 900 units. These units were procured under emergency powers for immediate needs, but they also serve as vital tools for evaluation and benchmarking, potentially paving the way for larger domestic orders in the future. Recognizing the capability of the Hermes 900, the Indian Armed Forces have expressed a combined requirement for 155 MALE-class UAVs.

The Hermes 900 boasts impressive capabilities, earning its reputation as a “combat-proven multi-role unmanned platform.” With a remarkable endurance of 36 hours, a payload capacity of 420 kilograms, and an operating altitude exceeding 32,000 feet, this drone offers versatility for various missions, including surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition.

The Adani-Elbit collaboration and the export of Hermes 900 drones mark a significant step forward for India’s defense aspirations. Balancing export opportunities with fulfilling domestic needs while addressing challenges will be crucial for India to leverage this success and emerge as a major player in the global drone market.