The Canadian Government has contracted Israel-based Elbit Systems to provide a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) or drone.

Under the terms of this contract, Elbit Systems will deliver its Hermes 900 StarLiner RPAS to Transport Canada.

It also includes the supply of communication links, ground control stations, sensor packages and training, as well as optional spare parts.

The $36.16m contract was announced by the Canadian Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand and Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

It was awarded through an open, transparent and competitive procurement process.

The 1.6t medium-altitude long-endurance UAS is expected to be delivered by December 2022.

Garneau said: “Canada is committed to protecting our endangered species and our marine environment. Integrating remotely piloted aircraft into our fleet will make our surveillance operations more robust than ever.

“The National Aerial Surveillance Program also helps with search-and-rescue, humanitarian efforts, illegal fishing enforcement, and the development and regulation of Canada’s drone industry.”

Certified for use in civilian airspace, the Hermes StarLiner UAS will join the Transport Canada National Aerial Surveillance Program aircraft fleet.

It will be deployed for operations such as detect oil spills, ice and fisheries patrol, wildlife survey, reconnaissance and other activities along the Arctic and the Canadian eastern and western coasts.

The automatic take-off and landing aircraft has a flying range of more than 1,400nm and can operate beyond the visual line-of-sight.

The aircraft system can also be controlled from a remote location and is equipped with autopilot capabilities.