The Royal Thai Navy has ordered an unspecified number of Elbit Systems Hermes 900 unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) to serve in the maritime patrol mission.
The deal is valued at Bt4 billion ($107 million) and deliveries will run from Thailand’s 2022-25 fiscal year, according to a Thai navy Facebook post. Thailand’s 2022 fiscal year commences in October.
The agreement was signed at the navy’s headquarters in Bangkok by its commander, Admiral Somprasong Nilsamai. Elbit business development manager Nissim Assaf Cohen represented Elbit at the signing.
The UAVs will serve in the maritime mission, providing surveillance of Thai territory as well as the country’s sea-lines of communication. In a conflict, they will identify targets at long ranges and relay the information back to Thai forces.
The UAVs will also have a law enforcement role, and support disaster relieve missions.
The Thai navy notes that over 10 countries have obtained the Hermes 900, including Southeast Asian neighbors the Philippines and Singapore.
According to Elbit, the Hermes 900 can perform a range of missions even in adverse weather conditions. Payloads can include electro-optical/infrared sensors, radars, and communications equipment.
Cirium fleets data indicates that the Royal Thai Navy operates 39 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Key rotorcraft types include the Bell 212/412, Sikorsky S-70, and Airbus Helicopters H145.
Fixed wing assets comprise Dornier 228s, Fokker F27s, and Embraer ERJ-135s.