UK Coastguard & Elbit Working Together For Search & Rescue Drones

Elbit Systems UK, a drone provider, has been selected by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to conduct maritime demonstration flights over Wales, by testing long-range flights in civilian airspace.

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security, and commercial programs, throughout the world. It will work closely with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, which is supported by additional UK companies, such as Inzpire and Aviation Systems Group.

CEO of Elbit Systems UK, Martin Fausset, stated:

“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.”*.

Many of Elbit Systems’ unmanned aerial systems (UAS), which includes the Hermes 900, are specifically designed to show the advantages of using long-range unmanned capabilities in civilian airspace, and the capability of utilizing multiple sensors on a single platform, which is considered the most important.

With a wingspan of 15 meters, the 1.2 Ton Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol is a long-range maritime surveillance system designed for littoral and blue water operations, featuring maritime radar, an Electro Optic (EO/IR) payload, Satellite Communication, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver and an Emergency Position-indicating Radio Beacon receiver.

The Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol enables continual monitoring of vast areas of sea and long coastlines. Its advanced search capabilities support valuable search and rescue work as it also identifies potential dangers and simulates shoreline, water and long-distance ship rescues across international airspace lines. In addition, Elbit Systems’ Skylark I-LEX will also be part of the demonstration flights and Hermes 900 fixed-wing drone has flown several BVLOS missions over uncontrolled airspace along routes which were approved by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. 

Elbit Systems UK CEO, Martin Fausset, makes the following claim: 

“The Hermes 900 is perfectly equipped to deal with the needs of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and we are proud to be able to support them as they continue with their vital, life-saving work.”*

Claire Hughes, Director of HM Coastguard, stated:

“*We continue to do all we can to use existing technology as well as look to the future in our ongoing work of saving lives at sea. Remotely piloted aircraft continue to be a big part of that work both to potentially save lives in search and rescue and protect our beautiful coastlines from the worst effects of pollution.”*

Four subsidiaries, as well as two joint ventures, are owned by Elbit Systems UK Ltd, which employs more than 500 workers in defense, aerospace and rail sectors. This consortium works in tandem with the British Army — Watchkeeper Program — to supply and support three aircraft fleets within the UK MOD Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) program.


Claire Hughes, Director of HM Coastguard, captured the importance of this joint venture between Elbit Systems and the UK Coastguard when she said, “We  continue to do all we can to use existing technology as well as look to the future in our ongoing work of saving lives at sea.” (Emphasis added) These companies join with other companies and individuals whose search-and- rescue drones continue to demonstrate their worth in rescue operations worldwide.

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