Elbit Systems say they have introduced a unique life saving capability to their Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

According to a news release:

“Integrating detection and identification capabilities, onboard inflated life-rafts, and precision dispatch capability, enables the UAS to perform long-range maritime Search and Rescue (SaR) missions. Such a configured Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol UAS was recently delivered to an undisclosed customer in South-East Asia.

Adverse weather conditions and short endurance significantly degrade the SaR capabilities of manned aircraft, often preventing them from executing their missions. Capable of more than 24 hours of continuous flight, the Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol can operate in adverse weather conditions in both day and night. Equipped with the new SaR capability the UAS can increase the number of SaR missions that can be safely executed and improve the safety and effectiveness of maritime SaR response.”

The Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol can carry up to four, six-person life-rafts that are integrated on its wings, say the firm.

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Wonder if these would be a option for Poseidon too.

Supportive Bloke

If I remember well, which I might not, the MRA versions of Nimrod did have the ability to drop sustainment stores like life rafts and survival kits.

On Poseidon these would be deployed through the sonar buoy drop mechanism I would guess?

Looking at the article below it looks like the RAAF has got this into service already.



Yeah they did, Poseidon has a weapons bay as well as sonar drop tubes.


These type of devices have been in use since the Second World War. Due to the massive size of the Nimrod’s bomb bay it could carry an air deployable life boat as well as inflatable life rafts, much like this one shown in the picture.
The Nimrod was heavily used during the Fastnet disaster back in 1979, where it dropped lift rafts and a couple of life boats.


Pretty certain the RAF will put the stores on P-8. We also have them available on C-130 and A-400. They’re dropped via a mechanism on the ramp,


The difference here is these can stay up for 24+ hours in the air.

Andy P

The capability of different unmanned craft is getting better and better, its good to see them being able to be used for SAR and other longer duration roles.