On 9 July, the webinar entitled ‘OCEAN2020 – the Mediterranean Sea demonstration – an overview’ was held, showcasing the project and providing an overview of the results achieved during the first naval exercise which was held in the Gulf of Taranto on 20-21 November 2019.
After an introductory overview on the broader political context of current and future EU initiatives, provided by the European Commission’s Sylvia Kainz-Huber, the webinar focused on the OCEAN2020 project (Open Cooperation for European mAritime awareNess). It is the largest EU-funded defence research project, coordinated by Leonardo and involving 43 partners from 15 European countries.
Dirk Tielbuerger of the European Defence Agency outlined the project, which is designed to demonstrate how remote piloted systems can help to meet the challenges of maritime surveillance by leveraging the integration of existing technologies with remote piloted systems, Combat Management Systems (CMS), communications systems and Maritime Operations Centres (MOCs).
Antonino Arecchi, Leonardo Project Coordinator, presented the first exercise, which served as a basis for demonstrating a range of objectives including: the launch and recovery of systems from the ship; the integration of EO, radar and AIS sensors to provide multi-source data and video streaming; manned -unmanned teaming; integration with naval CMS satellite systems and communication networks through two scenarios; the interdiction of a hostile ship; and the interception of an enemy minesweeper ship during an amphibious operation.
The Q&A session was preceded by the screening of the film made during the exercise, which reconstructed the operational phases filmed on-board the military ships involved.
The discussion was moderated by Alessandro Marrone, Head of Defence Programmes, Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI).