Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence press release
The patrol ship P11 “Žemaitis” was assigned to the trials by the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The ship was equipped with Tactical Mission Management System (TMMS) with integrated special equipment, namely console of a ship-launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and ad-hoc communication systems.
“Reliable communication over the open sea is a great technological challenge. It is impossible to have a stationary infrastructure here. Nevertheless, increasing resolutions of modern sensors require increased data transfer rates for the intelligence systems. Due to frequency allocation restrictions, the communication system used for the information exchange between manned and unmanned platforms must be decentralized and smart, i.e., it must be able to choose operating frequencies and other parameters automatically, considering rapidly changing interference conditions with respect to the movement of own and hostile systems. Information-sharing protocols here should be similar to the ones used for the Internet/LAN,” – claims BPTI Defence Programme Manager Dr Gediminas Molis.
“OCEAN2020 project is significant for both – technological and strategic – aspects. This project deals with the development of innovations that will ensure maritime security of entire Europe. It is the first project of this kind for the Lithuanian Navy, responding to different challenges in the maritime environment every day, ranging from search and rescue operations to the protection of sea routes leading to the seaport of Klaipėda. UAVs tested in the project will enable more rapid response of our ships to the activity in the maritime environment, and the communication equipment will ensure real-time information exchange with shore-based headquarters. We are very pleased with cooperation with researchers from BPTI and we feel glad that Lithuanian scientists are capable of participating at the same level as the biggest companies from the European defence industry,” – says Lieutenant Commander of the Lithuanian Navy Remigijus Zabiela. For the project, the Lithuanian Navy has assigned a team of officers to assist the European Union scientific community in the development of unmanned technologies and to provide insights regarding the operational issues.
According to the CEO of Baltic Institute of Advanced Technology Dr. Tomas Žalandauskas, this trial is a preparation for the international trials in the Baltic Sea that are scheduled for August 2020. These will be coordinated by the Swedish Navy. The Lithuanian Navy’s ship P11 “Žemaitis” will be a part of these trials. BPTI is responsible for the integration of equipment in the Lithuanian military ship. BPTI is also developing augmented reality solutions for the operators of unmanned systems. These are planned to be introduced within the OCEAN2020 project.
OCEAN2020 is the first project to bring together military-oriented scientific research aimed at enhancing security in the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea from all over the Europe. For the first time, augmented and virtual reality technologies will be employed for monitoring and control of the maritime environment. This project focuses on achieving beyond state of the art improvement in the execution of operations, more efficient use of resources and real-time management of accurate information and intelligence data.
Discussions have already taken place within partner groups from 15 countries regarding the innovations to be applied to ensure European maritime safety. Also the parameters of future systems have been set. For the design stage, system operators have been involved in the process to ensure not only the technological novelty of the proposed solutions, but also to address the end-user demands.
OCEAN2020 is one of the first projects funded by the EU Preparatory Action on Defence Research, which is a testing stage of the European Defence Fund. In 2018, project has been launched by a consortium of 42 partners from 15 European countries.