Thailand is developing an indigenous armed UAV, with the first system due to be handed over in 2022.
The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has revealed it is developing a new MALE UCAV with a longer operating radius and endurance.
The Ordnance Department of the RTA, which is responsible for research and innovation within the army, is pursuing a self-reliance policy of ‘Thai built, Thai used’.
The department is thus participating in a cooperative R&D project between the RTA and Defence Technology Institute to create a MALE UAV prototype.
The roles of the UAV are reconnaissance, searching and identifying target locations, and adjusting artillery fire and other fire support weapons.
In 2017 the RTA received a Hermes 450 system from Elbit Systems after purchasing it for $28 million. The complete system comprises four UAVs and an associated ground control station.
Thaland is using the Hermes 450 for ISR and target acquisition missions. Apart from military tasks, it will also be used for civilian missions such as aerial photography, mapping, earth resources observation and continuous surveillance.
The Hermes 450 is in Royal Thai Army (RTA) service, representing the most modern UAV in Thailand’s inventory. It is being operated by a company of the 21st Aviation Battalion, RTA Aviation Centre in Lopburi Province.
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