Saab is set to take part in the OCEAN2020 project, which aims to demonstrate new autonomous technologies to facilitate improved situational awareness in naval environments.
The OCEAN2020 initiative is funded by the European Union (EU) and will be carried out under the EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research programme.
It is anticipated to involve the integration of different types of unmanned platforms such as fixed wing, rotary wing, surface and underwater with naval units’ own command and control centres.
The project intends to enable the exchange of vessel data with land-based command and control centres via satellite.
Saab Group Strategy vice-president Katarina Björklund said: “There will be several manned and unmanned assets participating in each of the live demonstrations.
“Saab is contributing with a configuration of the 9LV naval combat management system with interfaces to other participating parties and assets, including unmanned systems from Saab.
“Various assets from several different companies and institutes will form a system of systems and together provide a recognised maritime picture.”
OCEAN2020 involves a Leonardo-led consortium that represents a total of 15 EU member states.
Two separate live demonstrations are planned to be arranged during 2018-2020 as part if the project.
The first live demonstration is slated to be conducted next year off the Italian Mediterranean coast, while the second demonstration is set to be held in the Baltic Sea in 2020.
The first demonstration will be coordinated by the Italian Navy using Leonardo’s ‘Hero’ and ‘Solo’ autonomous helicopters, which would operate from Italian naval units alongside other European partners.
Saab will conduct the Baltic Sea demonstration with the support of the Swedish Navy.
In addition, the EU has announced plans to launch a European Defence Research Programme (EDRP) with a proposed budget of €500m each year.