Spain’s Indra develops light maritime surveillance aircraft
Indra is working on the aircraft in collaboration with Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam, firms SELEX Galileo, FLIR Systems and Remote Sensing and Sensor Integration company Airborne Technologies.
The five partners are seeking to develop an aircraft equipped to provide state-of-the-art surveillance at a competitive price, in terms of acquisition and operation. The aircraft will be ready to engage in rescue missions, protection of fishing fleets and environment; and surveillance of illegal trafficking of either people or drugs, among others, Indra says.
The aircraft will patrol maritime zones usually kept under surveillance by coast guards using medium-size helicopters, significantly reducing the cost of patrols. Maritime surveillance equipment will include radar, AIS vesseld ID system and an electro-optical device.
Tecnam's twin-engine P2006T platform was selected as the maritime patrol airframe. According to Indra, the aircraft will be able to patrol an area from 50 to 200 nautical miles offshore and explore areas of up to 40 000 nautical square miles each mission. Indra says that sensor data from the aircraft can be transmitted to a ground station in real time and integrated with other information networks.
Regarding the sensors, the aircraft will be equipped with SELEX Galileo's Seaspray 5000E radar, an electro-optical camera and vessel identification system.
Indra says its technology currently controls over 3 500 km of borders worldwide. Its systems cover almost all the territorial waters of the Iberian Peninsula, the coast of Latvia and the coasts of the Black Sea in Rumania. The company also leads the Perseus project, an initiative boosted by the European Union to develop and test a maritime surveillance system by means of the integration of existing national systems of the continent. Outside Europe, Indra has developed a surveillance system to control Hong Kong's coasts and its more than 200 isles.
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