Leonardo announced that the signature of the grant agreement for OCEAN2020, the most important project related to the initiative to boost Europe’s defence research under the European Defence Fund.
The Ocean2020 project supports maritime surveillance and interdiction missions at sea and to that end will integrate drones and unmanned submarines into fleet operations. The information acquired will be combined with conventional systems to build up a comprehensive picture of developing situations for military commanders.
The project will be run by a consortium led by Leonardo S.p.A, bringing together 42 partners from 15 EU countries. It will receive a grant of around €35 million. In 2019, the project will stage two real-life demonstrations – one in the Baltics led by the Swedish navy and one in the Mediterranean led by the Italian navy.
The project aims to enhance situational awareness in a maritime environment by using manned and unmanned systems and building a complete picture on the basis of many different inputs. Defence Ministries in Estonia, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom are involved. The industrial partners are: Indra, Safran, Saab, MBDA, PGZ/CTM Hensoldt, Intracom-IDE, Fincantieri and Qinetiq. Research centres include Fraunhofer, the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek (TNO), the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE NATO) and the Italian Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).
“Ocean2020 will make it possible to promote technological research in a sector of great interest and relevance for Europe and for the Mediterranean area in particular, such as maritime safety,” said Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo. “Our team has established itself in a competitive environment thanks to a technologically innovative proposal of great strategic value. This is the culmination of an intense and effective collaboration among all 42 partners of the consortium, and I would like to thank each participant for their important contributions.”
You can read the official press release here.