Indra to develop a new light maritime surveillance aircraft

24 January 2012 (Last Updated January 24th, 2012 04:40)

Indra is developing a new light aircraft for maritime surveillance to guard maritime zones, including exclusive economic zones, that are located 50-200nm offshore.

Indra is developing a new light aircraft for maritime surveillance to guard maritime zones, including exclusive economic zones, that are located 50-200nm offshore.

Based on Tecnam's P2006T platform, the aircraft will be equipped with a state-of-the-art maritime surveillance system that includes SELEX Galileo's Seaspray 5000E radar, AIS vessel ID system and a high-definition FLIR electroptical device. As part of the project, Indra will implement the mission system to control embarked sensors, integrate and transmit collected data to the operator and control two-way broadband communications with the ground station.

The surveillance system will allow the aircraft to detect vessels or small objects in the sea, while the vessel ID system captures the automatic identification signals of ships to assist in surveillance and detection of suspicious activities. The new aircraft will also allow patrolling and surveillance missions in maritime zones that are usually out of the range of surveillance systems on medium-size helicopters used by coastguards.

Additionally, the aircraft can also be used to conduct rescue missions, protect fishing fleets and the environment, and for surveillance of illegal trafficking. Expected to enter service by the end of 2012, the twin-engine aircraft uses traditional fuel to reduce operational costs, can take-off and land in makeshift runways, is easy to use and requires low levels of maintenance.

The new solution is being developed in collaboration with Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam, firms SELEX Galileo, FLIR Systems and remote sensing and sensor integration company Airborne Technologies.