International aerospace firm Leonardo has confirmed it is set to lead an unmanned aerial systems demonstration as part of the Ocean2020 programme.
The company will head-up an EU-funded demonstration of how to use drones during maritime operations as part of Ocean2020, a European Defence Fund initiative designed to boost technological research in the naval domain.
Leonardo will lead a team of 42 partner companies including Saab, Safran, PGZ and MBDA, research bodies such as NATO CMRE and the defence ministries of five countries.
The first operational demonstration will take place in 2019 in the Mediterranean Sea and will involve Leonardo’s Hero and Solo unmanned helicopters, naval vessels and systems from a number of partners, including Italian Navy vessels equipped with Leonardo’s systems.
“The Ocean2020 initiative has a high level of strategic and technological-operational value,” said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo.
“It is the leading technological research project dedicated to the very topical issue of maritime surveillance, which is of interest across Europe and to the Mediterranean region in particular. This success has been made possible thanks to the strong collaboration between all 42 team partners which we have the honour to lead.”
OCEAN2020 will also see unmanned platforms of different type, including fixed wing, rotary wing, surface and underwater, integrated with naval units’ command and control centres, allowing for data exchange via satellite, with command and control centres on land. The joint and cooperative use of both manned and unmanned vehicles will also be demonstrated as part of the project.