Unmanned Surveillance Role in Ocean2020 Programme
UMS Skeldar, partnered with Saab, has been selected by the European Defence Agency (EDA) to provide unmanned surveillance capabilities with its SKELDAR V-200 UAS as part of the Ocean2020 programme. This marks the first EDA research tender for naval surveillance technology.
The first example to date of a pan-European military research initiative, Ocean2020 envisions the joint, cooperative use of varying types of manned and unmanned platforms – fixed- and rotary-wing, surface and underwater vessels – and their integration with naval C2 centres to enable hem to communicate with peer centres on shore via satellite data exchange. Issued by the European Union under the ‘Preparatory Action on Defence Research’ programme, EDA conducted the competitive selection.
In addition to complex simulation work, Ocean2020 will involve two live demonstrations of maritime surveillance and interdiction operations, which will be conducted by European fleets using unmanned aircraft, surface vessels and underwater systems. The first demonstration, scheduled to take place in the Mediterranean in 2019, will be coordinated by the Italian Navy while the second will be the responsibility of the Swedish Navy in 2020 in the Baltic. The data collected during these two demonstrations will be processed and sent to a prototype European C2 centre in Brussels.
The Ocean2020 Leonardo-led consortium comprises 42 partners from 15 European countries, including the participation of the Ministries of Defence of Estonia, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
“We are very pleased to be a part of the partnership team selected to deliver the Ocean2020 initiative,” explains Axel Cavalli-Björkman, CEO of UMS SKELDAR. “The global maritime sector is a key target for us in 2018 and beyond, which is why this contract fits perfectly within our business strategy. With a world-class UAV in our SKELDAR V-200, which not only runs on heavy fuels, but can also operate multiple payloads, we have a platform that is completely fit for purpose.”