Leonardo took leadership of the Open Cooperation for European Maritime Awareness (OCEAN2020), a pan-European military research project funded by the EU’s Preparatory Action on Defence Research.
The aims of the project is to strengthen technological research in the naval domain.
The two-day demonstration will be focused on evaluating the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in maritime surveillance and interdiction operations.
OCEAN2020 will advance the integration of unmanned platforms with the command and control (C2) centres of naval units for increased situational awareness.
OCEAN2020 exercise will be coordinated at sea by the Italian Navy.
According to a statement, the exercise will see nine remotely piloted systems, six naval units, two ground communications networks, four Maritime Operation Centres (MOCs).
All the data and information collected during the operation will be sent to a prototype C2 centre (EU MOC) located in Brussels, Belgium.
Operational scenarios will include interception of an enemy mine-laying ship and a mission to interdict a hostile vessel.
The next demonstration of the project is scheduled for 2020 in the Baltic Sea.
The company said in a statement: “The demonstration will also provide an opportunity to assess integration and interoperability capabilities at a European level as well as in the context of joint operations with Nato.”
Defence Insight Analysis
OCEAN2020 consortium includes 42 partners from 15 European nations. In addition to Leonardo, the project involves Saab, Hensoldt, MBDA, PGZ/CTM, Indra, Safran, Fincantieri and QinetiQ.
Leonardo is already responsible for providing the surveillance, communication and defence equipment on board two FREMM frigates of the Italian Navy.
The demonstration is expected to involve Leonardo’s AW HERO and SW-4 SOLO remotely piloted helicopters.