EMSA’s RPAS enhances maritime surveillance of the French Mediterranean Sea – Drones Information


With the aim of testing the use of remote-controlled aircraft systems (RPAS) to improve maritime awareness in the French Mediterranean, the Secretariat Général de la Mer asked the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to set up a multipurpose maritime surveillance operation the Navy (Marine Nationale) and Customs (Douanes) as strategic and tactical leaders of the operation.

The operational missions began on September 23, for an initial period of three months.

The RPAS service will consist of general maritime surveillance of waters under French sovereignty and jurisdiction in the Mediterranean, in particular in the following areas:

• Monitoring and surveillance of maritime traffic in support of the functions of the Coast Guard – maritime safety, support of further situational awareness in the maritime field, control of fisheries and law enforcement; and

• Protecting the marine environment, namely oil spill detection and characterization, identification of potentially related targets and, where necessary, assistance in responding to oil spills. Marine Nationale and Douanes will remotely control and monitor the missions from Toulon and Marseille, respectively, and RPAS will be operated from the French Air Force Base (BA125) in Istres.

The contractor operating the RPAS is the REACT consortium (with partners CLS and TEKEVER), and the aircraft to be used is the AR-5 unmanned fixed-wing aircraft. This asset has a payload that includes a marine radar, electro-optical and infrared cameras, an AIS receiver, and an EPIRB antenna. It is ready to fly under SATCOM and can perform day and night operations.

Please refer to the RPAS section on our website for more information. / Contact us under: [email protected]

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