UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Leonardo deploys Falco EVO for maritime surveillance

12th December 2018 - 11:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Leonardo’s Falco EVO has been deployed from Lampedusa airport in Italy as part of the Frontex surveillance research programme to test the UAS’ ability to monitor external EU borders.

Falco EVO, deployed in a maritime patrol configuration, will perform ISR missions organised by Guardia di Finanza and the Ministry of Interior, and undertaken by Leonardo from Lampedusa.

The UAS is equipped with a complete on-board sensor suite including the Gabbiano TS Ultra Light radar. This configuration allows it to carry out extended-range day and night missions. It also carries a high-definition EO/IR system, a beyond-line-of-sight satellite data-link system, a new propulsion system based on a heavy-fuel engine, an automatic identification system and a complete communications relay suite.

Frontex is exploring the surveillance capability of medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS as well as evaluating cost efficiency and endurance. Leonardo was selected by the European agency under a service contract tender for UAS operations for maritime surveillance across the Italian and Maltese civil airspace. The current agreement provides for 300 flight hours and may be extended into a longer-term agreement.

Falco EVO will operate under a 'permit to fly' issued by the Italian Civil Aviation Authority, which authorises flights in the Italian and Maltese Flight Information Region’s civil airspace.

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