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Spanish navy tests drones Somalia’s anti piracy

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Wednesday May 05, 2010 - 15:59:08 in Latest News by Super Admin
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    Spanish navy tests drones Somalia’s anti piracy

    Anti piracy

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Anti piracy

 

By Laura Tristan

 

 

MADRID (Sunatimes)-The Defence Ministry has wasted no time when it has comes to providing the Armed Forces with the best equipments to fight the pirates who are posing a threat to the Spanish fishing fleet working in the Indian Ocean, off Somalia. On 19 April, when the navy revealed its intention to buy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and send them to the area in order to put them aboard the Spanish vessels taking part in the EU's Operation Atalanta, the talks to purchase the drones were already at an advanced stage.

 

 

In fact, according to sources consulted by ABC, the navy has already tested in Valencia harbour at least one of the world's two most efficient and easy-to-operate models, which is being used by the US Navy and the Australian army. Furthermore, Canada already announced in August 2008 that it would use it in its military operations in Afghanistan. The navy has tested the so-called "ScanEagle" model, which is the result of a strategic alliance between the companies Boeing and Insitu and was deployed in the Iraq war in August 2004.

 

 

Rather than a landing strip, this model needs a catapult launcher. The fact that it has to take off and land on a frigate in the middle of the sea makes it suitable for the military operation in Somalia. In fact, it was conceived as a remote sensor for collecting weather data, as well as helping commercial fishermen locate and track schools of tuna.

 

 

"Desert Hawk"

 

 

The Navy has already tested the ScanEagle model and, according to the sources consulted by ABC, expressed its satisfaction at the results obtained. The second model, which has also been presented to Defence Ministry senior officials, is the so-called "Desert Hawk." This model has been marketed by the company AAI and has been used by the US Army in Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

 

The Defence Ministry will have to make a decision on these two models, because, according to the sources consulted by ABC, the rest of the drones are helicopters, which do not fit in with Spain's plans.

 

 

The procedure to complete the purchase is at a very early stage. In fact, the sector was surprised by the navy's announcement that 8 million euros would be earmarked for leasing between three and five drones. The drones were intended to be deployed in the area.

 

 

So far, the companies have submitted their offers to the Defence Ministry, presenting the characteristics of their aerial vehicles. The contract will now have to be formally put out to tender by emergency procedure.

 

 

Although the contract will be awarded to foreign companies, other Spanish companies may take part in the project by providing all the maintenance services and logistical support that these vehicles need in the areas where they are to be deployed.

 

 

Copyright: Sunatimes

 

Email: [email protected]

Madrid-Spain

 




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