Airbus Defence and Space has secured a 12-month contract extension from the British Royal Navy for continued satellite-based maritime surveillance services.

Airbus will supply the services under the latest contract to the UK Government’s Joint Maritime Security Centre (JMSC).

The JMSC is the UK’s maritime security centre of excellence. Its contract with Airbus will provide the centre with a wide range of intelligence services which complement its own series of surveillance activities.

The surveillance and analytics capabilities will help JMSC to better address security challenges.

The contract extension follows the conclusion of a successful proof-of-concept (PoC) phase.

It will ensure that areas of interest in British waters will continue to be monitored, with the aim of guarding UK sovereign waters from suspicious vessel activities.

Airbus will provide ‘Vessel Detection Reports’ using synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) data analysis about ship activity in the UK exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

These reports will be collected using data from satellite-based optical and radar sensors as well as from ship-mounted automatic identification systems (AIS).

They will be either delivered in ‘emergency mode’ for urgently required satellite tasking for monitoring global suspicious vessels or delivered twice daily.

Furthermore, Airbus provides the Defence Site Monitoring service using automated algorithms which are applied to optical imagery, for detecting, recognising and identifying vessels.

This service will detail the port activity evolution and raise alerts during the event of an abnormal activity.

In June 2016, a consortium of Airbus Defence and Space, and Telespazio France was contracted to provide satellite-based maritime surveillance services for the French Navy.