The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has undertaken a number of test drone flights with the help of Elbit Systems UK.
It was announced that the pair would be working together back in May on the government’s UK Drones Pathfinder Programme.
Now, Elbit has aided the MCA by demonstrating its Hermes 900 drone for use in search and rescue missions.
The Elbit Hermes 900 is a mid-sized, multi-payload, medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Last year the MCA reported saving around 1,600 people after receiving an average of seven calls per day.
Until now it has used helicopters when aerial assistance is needed, but now hopes that drones could improve its missions.
“The Hermes 900 is perfectly equipped to deal with the needs of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. We are proud to be able to support them as they continue with their vital, life-saving work,” said Martin Fausset, CEO of Elbit Systems UK.
Director of HM Coastguard, Claire Hughes, added: “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.”