Indra & Partners to Develop Light Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

24.01.2012 Security
Indra & Partners to Develop Light Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

Indra & Partners to Develop Light Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

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Indra, the premier IT company in Spain and a leading IT multinational in Europe, is working on the development of a new maritime surveillance light aircraft in collaboration with Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam, SELEX Galileo, FLIR Systems, and Airborne Technologies.

The five partners seek to develop an aircraft equipped to provide state-of-the-art surveillance at a more competitive cost 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.

The aircraft will be ready to enter service by the end of 2012.

This aircraft will patrol those maritime zones usually kept under surveillance by coastguards with medium-size helicopters for a considerably reduced cost and highly more efficient as it will be equipped with a thorough maritime surveillance system (radar, AIS vessel ID system and a cutting-edge electroptical device).

To develop a solution of this type tecnam's P2006T platform was selected. This light, twin-engine aircraft is easy to pilot and uses traditional fuel which dramatically reduces costs in operation. It also requires minimal maintenance and can take off and land in makeshift runways.

The aircraft will be able to patrol an area from 50 to 200 nautical miles offshore. This zone is out of the range of coastal surveillance systems and medium-size helicopters which can make it up to 100 miles. In order to cover this zone effectively the required maritime patrol aircraft can be acquired and operated at a much higher cost.

The competitive cost of this new platform will permit the forces in charge of coast surveillance and protection of the exclusive economic zone to afford the necessary units to undertake their duties in these waters. At the same time, by reducing operation costs, the aircraft can patrol as many times as necessary.

The participation of Indra, SELEX Galileo, FLIR Systems and Airborne Technologies contributes knowledge and experience to this project to equip the aircraft with the necessary intelligence to engage in maritime surveillance missions. The systems to be implemented will allow the platform to explore areas of up to 40,000 nautical square miles each time.

Indra will undertake the implementation of the mission system, the key element to control embarked sensors, integrate collected data and present them to the operator. The mission system also allows control of broad band bidirectional communications with the ground station which receives and submits information in real time as the information generated can be integrated and processed in any existing coastal surveillance or maritime traffic control systems.

Regarding the sensors, the aircraft will be equipped with SELEX Galileo's Seaspray 5000E radar whose detail degree allows distinction of the shapes and sizes of objects and is capable of detecting vessels or small objects in the sea. It will also carry a state-of-the-art  electroptical camera of large format and high definition of FLIR Systems. We should also add a vessel id system which captures the automatic signals of ships. This identification signal emitted by ships is compared with that supplied by the aircraft sensors, thus facilitating surveillance and detection of suspicious actions.


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