UASs will Provide Maritime Security Along Tens of Thousands of KMs

maritime security
120405-N-XO436-108 ATLANTIC OCEAN (April 5, 2012) Capt. Andy Loiselle, left, commanding officer of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), launches a Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from the flight deck. Scan Eagle is a runway independent, long-endurance, unmanned aerial vehicle system designed to provide multiple surveillance, reconnaissance data, and battlefield damage assessment missions. Gunston Hall is part of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group with the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU). Gunston Hall is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Sunderman/Released) Join the conversation

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) play an important role in maritime security missions, especially in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. One of the countries that has decided to enhance its capabilities in this field is Australia. 

Currently, its Navy is equipped with Camcopter 100 and ScanEagle UAS. The Government of Australia will invest up to A$1.3bn ($930m) in a new Maritime UAS development program designed to improve situational awareness across the country’s 25,780km-long coastline and support maritime surveillance capabilities.

The Australian Defence Force aims to acquire unmanned air vehicles that will provide reconnaissance support and improve the response options of Royal Australian Navy ships.

Such air vehicles will weigh between 25kg and 300kg, according to

Australian Minister for Defense Linda Reynolds said: “Now, more than ever, defense requires an agile acquisition strategy to take advantage of state-of-the-art technology. This acquisition heralds a new intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting capability for Defense to ensure Australia keeps pace in this rapidly developing technology domain.” “Developing sovereign industrial capability through projects like this is critical to enhancing Australia’s industrial base and maritime security.” 

Additionally, Australia will implement a five yearly investment cycle to upgrade the Maritime UAS capability starting 2024.