The maritime patrol version of Safran’s Patroller drone has shown its ability to meet the maritimesurveillance needs of navies or European maritime surveillance agencies, as part of the Europeanproject OCEAN2020. This project is funded by the European Commission within the scope of theEuropean Defense Agency’s preparatory defense research action contract (PADR: ActionPréparatoire de Recherche de Défense).
The project entailed naval exercises organized in theBaltic Sea at the end of August, bringing together 18 partners, including five navies, for the finalOCEAN2020 demonstration. It was designed to show that the combined use of drones operatingin different maritime environments (air, surface, underwater) would give command centers a bettergrasp of the tactical situation.
The Patroller drone showed its interoperability during the demonstration, including the real-timetransmission of data from its sensors (radar tactical situation, multispectral videos) to the tacticaloperations center (at a Swedish army test center in Ravlunda) and to the Maritime OperationsCenter (MOC) control center in Brussels at European Defense Agency premises.
Developed and produced in France by Safran Electronics & Defense, the Patroller features amodular architecture that allows it to carry a high-performance multi-sensor intelligence payload,adaptable to all types of missions. For the OCEAN2020 demonstration, Safran Electronics &Defense outfitted the Patroller with the Osprey multimode radar from Leonardo and its ownEuroflirTM410 optronic (electro-optical) system.
The drone was deployed from Kristianstad airport in southern Sweden, and participated in the twonaval scenarios organized as part of the OCEAN2020 demonstration. The first scenario concernedunderwater operations, while the second focused on surface exercises involving several ships indifferent stages of engagement. Because of its dispatch reliability and excellent sensors, thePatroller made a significant contribution to the demonstration by covering all phases in the surfacescenario. It was able to capitalize on the different features of its multi-sensor payload to detect andtrack, at long range, high-speed combat ships, thanks to its radar, and then identify them using itsoptronic sensors. The Patroller also provided high-resolution observation of various actions,including convoy attack scenarios and the boarding of a suspect vessel by Lithuanian Special Forces.
Throughout the program in Sweden, encompassing preliminary tests, rehearsals anddemonstrations, the Patroller carried out a total of 19 flights in its dual maritime radar/optronicsconfiguration over the Baltic Sea. Its performance in these tests, coupled with tests in Finlandusing the tactical drone system version, clearly proved its versatility.
Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment andinteriors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world,where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible.
Safran has a globalpresence, with 76,000 employees and sales of 16.5 billion euros in 2020 and holds, alone or in partnership,world or regional leadership positions in its core markets.
Safran Electronics & Defense is a world leader in the supply of solutions and services in optronics, avionics, electronics and critical software for both civil and military markets. The company equips more than 1,000 ships, 25,000 land vehicles and 10,000 aircraft worldwide.