10 Juni 2014
Mariner Demonstator UAV and Armidale Class Patrol Boat during trial in 2007 (photo : DSTO)
Australia's Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) has released an Invitation to Register Interest (ITRI) for a fully integrated maritime tactical unmanned aircraft system (MTUAS) capability for the Armidale-class patrol boats (ACPB).
The MTUAS is intended to leverage advances in technology in maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems and will assist the ACPB force to achieve information dominance, reduce risks, and enable improved resource and asset management during operations, particularly in support of operations at great distance from home ports.
Specifically, the MTUAS will enable the parent ACPB to shadow a distant contact while remaining undetected, the MTUAS maintaining persistent sensor coverage and overwatch (Jane's)
Australia seeks 'eye in the sky' for patrol ships
Australia's Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) is exploring options for the possible acquisition of an organic unmanned airborne ISR system for the Royal Australian Navy's Armidale-class patrol vessels.
Prospective suppliers are being invited by the DMO to register interest in providing an embarked Maritime Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (MTUAS) for the 14 ships, slated for initial deployment in 2016.
Based in the northern ports of Cairns and Darwin, the 57 m Armidale-class vessels are heavily engaged in Australian government efforts to combat illegal immigration and people smuggling by sea from Indonesia. Other roles include the protection of fisheries and offshore energy production facilities.