Leonardo was selected to lead the OCEAN2020 program, the first European defense agency research tender for maritime surveillance technology. The project was issued by the European Union under the "Preparatory Action for Defence Research" program. The competitive selection was conducted by the European Defense Agency and will be contracted in the coming weeks.
OCEAN2020 is the first example of a cross-European military research program to-date. The OCEAN2020 team, which will be led by Leonardo, comprises 42 partners from 15 countries, including Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
OCEAN2020 will see unmanned platforms of different types (fixed wing, rotary wing, surface, and underwater) integrated with naval units’ command and control centers, allowing for data exchange via satellite, with command and control centers on land. The joint and cooperative use of both manned and unmanned vehicles will also be demonstrated as part of the project.
The project will involve two live demonstrations of maritime surveillance and interdiction operations, conducted by European fleets using unmanned aircraft, surface vessels, and underwater systems. The first demo, scheduled to take place in the Mediterranean Sea in 2019, will be coordinated by the Italian Navy and will see Leonardo’s ‘Hero’ and ‘Solo’ unmanned helicopters operate from Italian naval units alongside other European partners. The second demonstration, which will take place in 2020 in the Baltic Sea, will be coordinated by the Swedish Navy. The data collected by various systems during these two demos will be processed and sent to a prototype European command and control center in Brussels.