The Government of Canada has awarded a $36.16‑million contract to Elbit Systems for the acquisition of Hermes StarLiner remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS).
The contract was awarded by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on behalf of Transport Canada and the Hermes StarLiner RPAS will support maritime environmental protection missions in the Arctic and along the Canadian Eastern and Western coasts, as part of the Canadian National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP).
This contract was awarded through a competitive procurement process and the acquisition will play an integral role in the Government’s effort to verify the practical potential of drone technology and to integrate it safely into Canadian airspace.
The Hermes 900 StarLiner RPAS is a new addition to the Transport Canada NASP aircraft fleet, and is expected to be delivered by December 2022. Fully certified to operate in civilian airspace, the Hermes StarLiner UAS will take-off and land in civilian airfields to perform a wide range of operations to reduce harmful environmental impacts, including detection of oil pollution, Ice Patrol and Reconnaissance, wildlife survey, Fisheries Patrol and others.
The aircraft system is controlled from a remote location and also includes autopilot capabilities, such as automatic takeoff and landing. The RPAS has a flying range of more than 1,400 nautical miles and the capability to operate beyond the visual line of sight.
Adverse weather conditions and short endurance degrade the search and surveillance capabilities of manned aircraft, often preventing them from executing their missions. Deploying the Hermes StarLiner UAS will enable Transport Canada to maintain persistent surveillance over vast bodies of water and long coastlines. Capable of continuous flight, the Hermes StarLiner UAS can operate in adverse weather conditions in both day and night, improving mission effectiveness and increasing the number of missions that can be safely executed.
The Hermes StarLiner is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance 1.6 tones UAS that includes a range of commercial aviation capabilities qualifying it to be safely integrated into civilian airspace. Hermes StarLiner features Detect & Avoid Systems, redundant data-links, Terrain Avoidance Warning System, Automatic Take-off and Landing capability in near zero visibility, de-icing and direct lightning strike sustainment capabilities, as well as a powerful heavy fuel engine.