Elbit introduces Hermes 900 unmanned Search and Rescue capability to SE Asia

Elbit Systems has introduced what it calls a “unique” life-saving capability to its Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) to a customer in Southeast Asia by integrating detection and identification capabilities, onboard inflated life-rafts, and precision dispatch capability.

The Israeli company says this enables the UAS to perform long-range maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) missions in all weather, day or night.

The Hermes 900, which is capable ofmore than 24 hours” of flight in one sortie, can carry up to four, six-person life-rafts that are integrated on its wings in its Maritime Patrol configuration.

The UAS also has onboard radar and electro-optical payloads on board in this configuration and the company suggests that upon detection of survivors during an SAR mission with these sensors, it can them perform a rapid calculation of the drop-point and enabling the UAS to dispatch life rafts from a low-altitude of 600ft to a pin-pointed location at a safe distance from the survivors.

A gradual inflation process of the life-rafts is initiated after dispatch and is completed upon landing, allowing the survivors to reach the life raft.

The Hermes 900 Medium Altitude Long Endurance UAS is operational with Israeli Air Force since 2015 and was selected by numerous customers including Switzerland, the UK (for civilian SAR trials), Brazil, Mexico, and Chile.

Elbit also says the Hermes 900 has been selected by “customers in Southeast Asia” although the only publicly acknowledged customer of the type is the Philippines, who also operates the smaller Hermes 450 alongside Singapore and Thailand in the region.

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