Elbit wins drone contract for up to $68m to help monitor Europe coast

Deal, executed with Portugal’s Centre of Engineering and Product Development, is for 2 years, with an option for additional 2 single years

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Illustrative: Elbit Systems Ltd.'s Hermes900 Maritime Patrol system will help monitor Europe's coast (Courtesy)
Illustrative: Elbit Systems Ltd.'s Hermes900 Maritime Patrol system will help monitor Europe's coast (Courtesy)

Israel defense contractor Elbit Systems Ltd. said Thursday it has won a framework contract to provide maritime unmanned aircraft system (UAS) patrol services to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), to help monitor vast swaths of sea and long coastlines and identify suspicious activities and potential hazards.

The European agency services countries in the European Union.

The contract, which will be executed together with Portugal-based engineering firm Centre of Engineering and Product Development (CEiiA), is for a two-year period, with an option for additional two, single years. The full value of the contract, including the options, is €59 million (some $68 million).

Under the contract and in cooperation with CEiiA, Elbit will lease and operate its Hermes 900 Maritime Patrol system — a long-range unmanned surveillance system tailored for the sea and coastlines — and its ground control station.

The system will be equipped with maritime radar, an electro-optic payload, satellite communication and an automatic identification system (AIS) receiver, Elbit said in a statement.

“Having been selected by the European Union authorities is yet another vote of confidence in the Hermes 900 by following additional contract awards for this UAS in Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Israel,” said Elad Aharonson, general manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR Division, in the statement.

Elbit is a tech firm that develops a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial systems that are sold globally. The firm, whose shares are listed in Tel Aviv and on the Nasdaq, operates in the fields of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance systems, among others.

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