Elbit Systems Demonstrates HERMES 900 for UK Coastguard

Step Forward in Enhancing SAR Operations

Elbit Systems recently successfully demonstrated its HERMES 900 UAS for Britain’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Run by the agency itself, the demonstrations were designed to test the potential use of a UAS to enhance search and rescue (SAR) operations in civilian airspace. The aircraft flew advanced beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) missions into unsegregated and uncontrolled airspace, in full alignment with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The success of these trials is a significant step forward in enhancing MCA capabilities as it seeks to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its SAR operations while reducing risk to MCA personnel. Elbit Systems UK is collaborating closely with the CAA, supported by additional UK companies, including Inzpire and Aviation Systems Group.

The demonstration aircraft, equipped with SAR-specific radar, an automatic identification system (AIS), EO/IR payload, an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) and full SATCOM, was deployed on a range of missions that simulated shore-line rescues, water rescues in dangerous airspace and long-distance ship rescues which crossed international airspace lines.

The 15m span, 1.2t HERMES 900 is already deployed with over a dozen international customers, providing SAR and and reconnaissance capabilities. Elbit offers enhanced life-saving capability in its recently-launched HERMES 900 Maritime Patrol configuration, with inflated life-rafts for detection, identification and rescuing survivors at sea. This configuration has already been delivered to an undisclosed customer in Southeast Asia.

We continue to do all we can to use existing technology as well as look to the future in our ongoing work of saving lives at sea. Remotely-piloted aircraft continue to be a big part of that work, both to potentially save lives in search and rescue and protect our beautiful coastlines from the worst effects of pollution,” commented Claire Hughes, Director of Her Majesty’s Coastguard.

Click here for video footage of the event:

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Publish date

09/11/2020

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