Royal Thai Navy to acquire Hermes 900 UAVs from the Israeli Elbit Systems

According to information published by the Thai Ministry of Defense on September 21, 2022, the contract signing ceremony for the purchase of Hermes 900 UAVs was held at the Coastal Aviation Base at the Royal Thai Navy Headquarters Lounge.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Contract signing ceremony for the Hermes 900 UAVs (Picture source: Facebook of the Thai MoD)

The UAV will be used to operate in order to maintain the rights and sovereignty over Thailand's maritime territories and permanently protect the shipping lanes entering and leaving Thailand.

The Elbit Systems Hermes 900 Kochav ("Star") is an Israeli medium-size, multi-payload, medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for tactical missions. It is a successor to the Hermes 450 series of drones, one of the most widely used military drones in the world.

It has an endurance of over 30 hours and can fly at a maximum altitude of 30,000 feet (9,100 m), with a primary mission of reconnaissance, surveillance, and communications relay.

The Hermes 900 has a wingspan of 15 m (49 ft) and weighs 970 kg (2,140 lb), with a payload capability of 300 kg (660 lb). Payload options include electro-optical/infrared sensors, synthetic-aperture radar/ground-moving target indication, communications and electronic intelligence, electronic warfare, and hyperspectral sensors.

Mission management is performed in a highly autonomous manner via the Hermes ground control system (GCS) designed to control combined Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 missions.

The UAV can perform two concurrent missions from the same GCS using two ground data terminals (GDT). Hermes 900 is the most recent MALE UAS procured by the IDF as well as by multiple international customers.