Elbit Systems has been selected by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to conduct maritime demonstration flights in the UK using a number of its unmanned aerial surveillance systems.
The firm say that the demonstration flights are designed to demonstrate the advantages of using long-range unmanned capabilities in civilian airspace, with the ability to utilise multiple sensors on a single platform. Elbit Systems UK will collaborate closely with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, supported by additional UK companies, including Inzpire and Aviation Systems Group.
The solution will be based around the Hermes 900.
With a wingspan of 15 metres, the 1.2 Ton Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol is a long-range maritime surveillance system tailored for littoral and blue water operations, say Elbit.
“It features maritime radar, an Electro Optic payload, Satellite Communication, an Automatic Identification System receiver and an Emergency Position-indicating Radio Beacon receiver. The Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol enables persistent monitoring of vast swathes of sea and long coastlines with effective advanced search capabilities to support with valuable search and rescue work as well as the identification of potential hazards. Elbit Systems’ Skylark I-LEX will also be taking part in the demonstration flights.”
Elbit say they will support the MCA in their existing efforts, providing a 24-hour maritime search and rescue service around the UK coast and in the international search and rescue region through HM Coastguard.
Martin Fausset, CEO of Elbit Systems UK commented:
“We are proud to partner with the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency on this valuable demonstration of the wide range of unmanned capabilities Elbit Systems UK can offer. We look forward to providing the best possible support for the lifesaving work of the MCA. This is the latest example of how Elbit Systems UK is delivering proven technologies to support operational needs of UK customers.”
Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani said:
“Drone technology has enormous potential for our search and rescue teams, who save lives 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This ground-breaking project will not only hope to boost the capabilities of our already fantastic teams but will also boost our ability to spot pollution hazards and protect our precious marine environment.”
About the firm
Elbit Systems UK Ltd (ESUK) holds four wholly-owned subsidiaries as well as two joint ventures. In total, over 500 personnel are employed by the Elbit Systems UK companies, in high tech roles in the defence, aerospace and rail sectors. The two joint ventures were formed in order to deliver the Watchkeeper programme for the British Army and to supply and support three fleets of aircraft within the UK MoD Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) programme.