The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has signed a contract with Israel-based company Elbit Systems to procure Hermes 900 uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV).

According to RTN Facebook post, the deal was inked between RTN commander admiral Somprasong Nilsamai and Elbit Systems Business Development and Marketing director Nissim Assaf Cohen.

It was signed during a ceremony at the RTN Naval Headquarters, Thailand on 21 September.

In a report, Reuters claimed that the estimated value of this contract is approximately $107.67m (THB$4bn) and the associated work will be carried out between 2022 to 2025.

However, the total number of drones to be purchased has not been disclosed by the RTN.

The new drones are being procured to monitor Thailand’s maritime territories as well as to safeguard nation’s maritime transport routes.

Furthermore, the UAS will provide continuous assistance to prevent and deter various maritime offenses.

Elbit Systems’ HERMES 900 is a next generation, multi-role, medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAS.

The UAS is integrated with a wide range of high-performance sensors that can identify and detect several ground and maritime threats. It can provide wide area surveillance and mapping. 

Currently, the Elbit System’s Hermes family of drones is in service with several international customers including, Mexico, Switzerland, Colombia, Philippines, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Canada, Singapore, Chile and Brazil.

In 2019, Iceland became the first country in Europe to use Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 UAS for carrying out maritime surveillance tasks.