Patrolling hostile waters

The South China Sea is a magnet for trouble, but airborne maritime surveillance assets are still a scarcity, as AFM’s Alan Warners explains.


Leonardo sent one of the two recently delivered ATR 72MPAs to LIMA, which received a good deal of interest during the event.
Babak Taghvaee

AIRBORNE SURVEILLANCE is a role Southeast Asian countries should be taking very seriously these days. Terrorism, or the threat of terrorists crossing the South China Sea, has focused minds, yet for several countries in the region, such as Indonesia (with 17,000-plus islands), Malaysia and the Philippines which circle these waters, little has changed.

Despite years of crime on the high seas – where piracy, kidnapping, narcotics and people trafficking, smuggling, arms proliferation, illegal fishing and environmental crimes are all rife – there doesn’t appear to be much urgency to stamp it out.

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