The U.K. Royal Navy has awarded a 12 month contract extension to Airbus Defence and Space covering the continued provision of satellite-based maritime surveillance services for the Joint Maritime Security Centre (JMSC).
The contract follows the successful completion of a proof of concept phase, and will ensure the continued monitoring of areas of interest in U.K. waters with the aim of guarding U.K. sovereign waters from suspicious vessel activities.
JMSC required a series of services that would provide intelligence to augment their own surveillance activities. Under the agreement, JMSC will benefit from a large range of Airbus’ surveillance and analytics capabilities, including Vessel Detection Reports using synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) data analysis about ship activity.
Using optical and radar imaging as well as AIS (Automatic Identification System) data, Airbus will provide reports about vessels within the U.K. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and information that will help in the prevention of potential illegal activities.
They will be either delivered in emergency mode for urgently required satellite tasking to monitor suspicious vessels, or on a twice daily basis for general vessel identification as well as the classification of ‘dark’ vessels in key areas of interest.
In addition, Airbus will provide the Defence Site Monitoring service, using automated algorithms applied to optical imagery, for the detection, recognition and identification of vessels. This service will detail port activity and raise alerts if abnormal activity occurs.
The Airbus surveillance services will give JMSC a greater understanding of the various activities across U.K. waters, focusing on potentially uncooperative vessels to better address security challenges and allow resources to be rapidly deployed to intercept.