South East Asia Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


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Thailand selects Elbit Systems Hermes 900 for maritime surveillance UAV requirement​


The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has selected the offer from Israel’s Elbit Systems, winning an international tender to supply maritime surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

The winning bid was approved by the Thai Ministry of Defence (MoD) Permanent Secretary General Warakiat Rattanonont, and a formal contract with Elbit Systems is expected to be signed within 30 days.

The UAVs will be used by the RTN for maritime surveillance, over-the-horizon targeting, search and rescue, and other maritime missions.

Elbit Systems offered the Hermes 900 Kochav medium altitude long endurance unmanned aerial system (MALE UAS), and competed against fellow Israel-based defense company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and three other companies from Turkey, China and the United States.

With the RTN’s budget of THB 4 billion (US$120 million), Elbit Systems reportedly proposed to deliver 7 UAVs, while IAI proposed 5. Both the offers from Turkey and China proposed 3 UAVs, while the proponent from the United States failed the screening test.

The Elbit Systems Hermes 900 UAV has a length of 8.3 meters, a wingspan of 15 meters, a gross weight of 1,100 kilograms, and is powered by a Rotax 914 piston engine capable of providing the UAV with a cruise speed of 70 miles per hour, a maximum speed of up to 140 miles per hour, and an endurance of up to 36 hours with a maximum service ceiling of 9,100 meters.

It can carry different payloads up to 300 kilograms in total, which includes surveillance cameras, sensors and search and rescue packages.

The Hermes 900 Kochav UAV is considered as the successor to the smaller Hermes 450, in which the Royal Thai Army has 4 UAVs in service with the 21st Aviation Battalion.

Within Southeast Asia, the only other user of the type is the Philippine Air Force, which purchased 9 units in 2017.

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Corvette of the Royal Thai Navy HTMS Sukhothai FS-442 sank in the Gulf of Thailand. The Ratanakosin-class corvette was launched in 1986. The ship with a displacement of 960 tons is armed with the RGM-84A "Harpoon" anti-ship missiles, the "Albatros" air defense system and the "OTO Breda" 76-mm artillery mount. The ship sank at 23:30 local time during a storm.



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New satellite images of a new frigate under construction in Myanmar.
Length +/- 135 meters, which is 27 meters longer than the previously built F-14 frigate Kyan Sittha.



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Indonesia buying second-hand Mirage 2000-5s from Qatar to replace their F-5 Tiger jets because of US sanctions on Russia since the Ukrainian conflict interfering with their original plan of buying SU-35s.

The deal has apparently been criticized due to the fact that the airframes are old. (Mirage 2000-5s from Qatar were delivered in 1997)

Personal thoughts: Not sure why they are in such a rush with Rafales and F-15s on the way.


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$60 million per fighter, and single engined ones at that, is simply outrageous as a price. If the problem was CAATSA why not just order the J-10C?