The UMS Skeldar V-200 and Leonardo’s Hero and SW-4 Solo rotary-wing UAVs will be used in the European Defence Agency OCEAN2020 programme researching new naval surveillance technology.
A first live demonstration of maritime surveillance and interdiction operations, in the Mediterranean Sea in 2019 and coordinated by the Marina Militare (Italian Navy), will involve Hero and SW-4 Solo systems and a second live demonstration in the Baltic Sea in 2020 conducted by the Svenska Marinen (Swedish Navy) will involve the V-200.
OCEAN2020 is a pan-European programme involving defence ministries, companies including Leonardo, Indra, Safran, Saab and MBDA and research centres including the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Evaluation. The initiative will see unmanned fixed-wing, rotary-wing, surface and underwater platforms integrated with naval units’ command and control centres to enable data exchange via satellite with the control centres on land. The aim is to demonstrate the joint, cooperative use of unmanned vehicles,. According to the Leonardo and UMS Skeldar statements on the programme, the data collected during the demonstrations will be processed and sent to what is described as, “a prototype European command and control centre in Brussels”.
Leonardo’s Hero and SW-4 Solo are part of the company’s unmanned portfolio, which also includes the Falco and Falco EVO tactical UAVs. The V-200 sits alongside the recently-launched R-350 in the UMS Skeldar range. Mark Broadbent