Even if it may seem to be a standard drone carrying two long range tanks, the Hermes photographed over Gaza in the last days carry an unknown type of pod. A firing pod according to our source
An Israeli source who wishes to remain anonymous sent us the photos you can find in this post.
They were taken on Jul. 24 and Jul. 29, over the southern Israeli Gaza border by AFP photographer Jack Guez and show an Hermes 450 drone.
Noteworthy, the Israeli UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) carries two previously unknown underwing pods. At first glance, they may resemble the two fuel tanks of the Hermes 450LE (Long Endurance) variant but a closer look shows they are not attached to a standard pylon but they are directly attached to the wing. Furthermore, the rear edge of this new pod, is aligned to the wing’s trailing edge.
According to our source, this is “a firing pod for a light missile,” possibly used to attack Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip but we are unable to verify it.
For sure the pod is something new, whose shape (loosely trapezoidal) reminds that of some gun pods carried by some warplanes. Hard to say whether it can really house a light missile or something else, even though we can’t completely rule it out.
Image credit: AFP/Jack Guez
I don’t see the pronouncely raised dorsal aerial on that Hermes that is present in photos of the Hermes 450 posted here previously.
Cant be a firing pod !
Its a tactical reconnaissanve counter concealment enabled radar or (tracer) built by lockheed and should still be in development phase for UA forces
The shape reminds me of chaff / flare pods, or has this been ruled out?
At Farnborough in 2006 Elbit unveiled ELINT pods for the Hermes 450 dubbed ‘skyfix’.
At the time it was quite clunky requiring not just inboard pods but wing tip pods and aerials/antennae mounted on a wing under the fuselage.
I would suggest that this is probably an update or something along these lines. More mundanely they might just be fuel tanks. The Hermes 900 is constantly pictured with something similar.
The other possibility is that these are leaflet pods, the flat back might allow a drogue delivery system or something.
The Hermes 450 has allegedly been equipped to fire hellfires but I don’t think there are any pictures of it actually doing so and I can’t see a great deal of use in these pods. It would seem like a poor solution for a relatively simple problem given that other UAVs are equipped with small missiles and bombs without the need for something like this.