The Royal Thai Navy has signed a contract to procure Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for about 4 billion baht.
Vice Adm Pokkrong Monthatphalin, navy spokesman, said the navy had chosen seven Hermes 900 UAVs from Elbit Systems, an international defence electronics firm based in Israel. The firm offered a non-tariff price of US$120 million or about 4 billion baht.
The contract was jointly signed by commander-in-chief Adm Somprasong Nilsamai and Nissim Assaf Cohen, director of Elbit Systems' Business Development and Marketing, at the Royal Thai Naval Institute in Bangkok on Wednesday.
The Hermes 900 UAV boasts a range of high-performance sensors, allowing it to detect ground or maritime targets over a wide spectral range. It can be operated for up to 36 hours and the service ceiling is 9,144 metres.
The UAVs are also equipped with defence technology applicable for prospective attack missions. In addition, the UAVs will help assist victims at sea.
The UAVs will be sent to each navy region with a budget of 4 billion baht for four years until 2025. The system has been introduced in more than 10 countries including Israel, Chile, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, Switzerland, Canada, the Philippines, Iceland, Greece and Singapore, as well as the United Nations.