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Elbit Systems Successfully Demonstrates High-Altitude High-Precision Aerial Firefighting Solution

 Using a computed launch of liquid pellets from high altitude, the HyDropTM system lifts the long standing restriction on nighttime aerial firefighting

Haifa, Israel, 21 January, 2020 - Elbit Systems completed a successful field demonstration of its patented Hydrop system, an innovative solution enabling high-altitude high-precision aerial firefighting. The field demonstration took place recently as part of an exercise led by the Israel Fire and Rescue Authority. During the exercise two Air Tractor aircraft from the Israeli Fire Fighting Squadron were directed to extinguish a burning field, from as high as 500 ft., more than four times higher than the average altitude of a standard aerial firefighting sortie. Using the HyDrop system each aircraft launched 1.6-tons of 140-gram liquid pellets in a computed ballistic trajectory, achieving a precise hit with saturation of 1-2 liter per 1 square meter.

Since 1953, aerial firefighting has been carried out using liquid cascade drop methods that require sorties to be conducted at an altitude of a 100-120 ft. in order to reduce liquid loss caused by the aerosol effect. Such low-altitude flights are restricted to daytime due to safety concerns and Civil Aviation regulations. The experience from around the globe clearly shows that restricting aerial firefighting to daytime severely degrades its operational contribution. Addressing this needs gap, Elbit Systems developed the Hydrop system that enables a high-precision computed launch of bio-degradable liquid pellets from 500-2,000 ft., altitudes that are safe and certified for night-flight by Civil Aviation.  

With Helicopter, Fixed-wing and Heavy Lifter configurations, Hydrop integrates fighter aircraft avionics including a ballistic computer, command and control (C2) system and advanced display systems, together with liquid pellets stored in a specially designed airborne dispenser. The C2 unit navigates the aircraft to the drop point while the ballistic computer produces an accurate launch trajectory, taking into account aircraft velocity, altitude, GPS location, wind conditions and the weight and shape of the liquid pellets. In addition to lifting the restriction on nighttime aerial firefighting, this high-altitude system improves pilots safety and increases the effectiveness of aerial firefighting, during day and night, by eliminating the liquid loss caused by the aerosol effect. 

The Hydrop system includes a pellets manufacturing machine (static or mobile). Housed in a standard 20‘-container, the manufacturing machine can produces up to 10 tons of pellets per hour. The biodegradable pellets which can be filled with either water, foam or fire retardant, have been proved to have no harmful residues and their dropping has also been tested and found to be safe to crews on the ground.


Hydrop solution onboard UC-S-61
Elbit Systems HyDrop Fixedwing launch
Elbit Systems HyDrop command and control display
Elbit Systems HyDrop

About Elbit Systems

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs throughout the world. The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land, and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance ("C4ISR"), unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems, radios and cyber-based systems and munitions. The Company also focuses on the upgrading of existing platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial applications and providing a range of support services, including training and simulation systems.

For additional information, visit: https://elbitsystems.com/, follow us on Twitter or visit our official Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn Channels.

 This press release contains forward‑looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) regarding Elbit Systems Ltd. and/or its subsidiaries (collectively the Company), to the extent such statements do not relate to historical or current fact. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. Forward‑looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual future results, performance and trends may differ materially from these forward‑looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, without limitation: scope and length of customer contracts; governmental regulations and approvals; changes in governmental budgeting priorities; general market, political and economic conditions in the countries in which the Company operates or sells, including Israel and the United States among others; differences in anticipated and actual program performance, including the ability to perform under long-term fixed-price contracts; and the outcome of legal and/or regulatory proceedings. The factors listed above are not all-inclusive, and further information is contained in Elbit Systems Ltd.’s latest annual report on Form 20-F, which is on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward‑looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. The Company does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements. Elbit Systems Ltd., its logo, brand, product, service and process names appearing in this Press Release are the trademarks or service marks of Elbit Systems Ltd. or its affiliated companies. All other brand, product, service and process names appearing are the trademarks of their respective holders. Reference to or use of a product, service or process other than those of Elbit Systems Ltd. does not imply recommendation, approval, affiliation or sponsorship of that product, service or process by Elbit Systems Ltd. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel or otherwise any license or right under any patent, copyright, trademark or other intellectual property right of Elbit Systems Ltd. or any third party, except as expressly granted herein.

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David Vaaknin

Vice President, Head of Corporate Communications

Dana Tal Noyman

Manager International Corporate Communications