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2019.08.21 16:30

Lithuanian Navy tests drone technology ‘to protect’ shipping in the Baltic Sea

LRT.lt2019.08.21 16:30

Lithuanian Navy and the Baltic Institute of Advanced Technology (BPTI) are testing new systems in the Baltic Sea, which will gather real-time data on maritime environment using aerial, surface and underwater drones, the Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday.

The technology developed as part of the OCEAN2020 project “will ensure maritime security of entire Europe, [...] responding to challenges [...] ranging from search and rescue operations to the protection of sea routes leading to the seaport of Klaipėda,” said Lieutenant Commander of the Lithuanian Navy Remigijus Zabiela.

“Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) tested in the project will enable more rapid response of our ships [...] and the communication equipment will ensure real-time information exchange with shore-based headquarters.”

The patrol ship P11 ‘Žemaitis’ was assigned to the trials, equipped with Tactical Mission Management System (TMMS). For the first time, BPTI are also developing augmented and virtual reality technologies for drone operators.

“Reliable communication over the open sea is a great technological challenge, as it is impossible to have stationary infrastructure,” said BPTI Defence Programme Manager Gediminas Molis.

The technology “must be able to choose operating [...] parameters automatically, reacting rapidly to the changing movement of our own and hostile systems,” he said.

For the project, the Lithuanian Navy has assigned a team of officers to assist the European Union scientific community.

OCEAN2020 is one of the first projects funded by the EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research, part of the European Defence Fund. In 2018, project was launched by a consortium of 42 partners from 15 European countries.