Portugal hosts maritime exercise in support of NATO’s Maritime Unmanned Systems Initiative

  • 11 Sep. 2019 - 27 Sep. 2019
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  • Last updated: 25 Sep. 2019 11:00

Dozens of unmanned underwater, surface and air vehicles from NATO countries are gathering in Portugal from 11 to 27 September 2019 to test new technological advances in unmanned maritime systems networks. The exercise is being held in the Sesimbra and Troia Peninsula area in the south of Lisbon.

A sensor buoy is taken off the Portuguese Navy survey vessel NRP Dom Carlos I during exercise Recognized Environmental Picture, Maritime Unmanned Systems 19 (REP(MUS) 19). The exercise tests the ability of NATO Allies to integrate and share information gathered by unmanned systems in operational contexts. Portugal hosted the exercise, with participation from Belgium, Italy, Poland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation.

Exercise REP (MUS) 19 is an opportunity to test the interoperability of maritime unmanned systems technologies and to test procedures and tactics for Maritime Unmanned Systems used by NATO countries.

Around 800 personnel from the Portuguese Navy, as well as from Belgium, Italy, Poland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, and the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation are contributing to the exercise. The exercise is also being supported by academia and industry.

New maritime unmanned systems technologies can be a game-changer in countering multiple threats in the maritime domain. Using Maritime Unmanned Vehicles can help effectively counter new submarines armed with more powerful weapons. They can also prevent military personnel from moving into risky situations in countering threats like sea mines.

At the Brussels Summit in 2018 NATO leaders reaffirmed the strategic importance of the maritime domain and the importance to invest in new unmanned capabilities. By exercising and working together, Allies will make the most effective use of maritime capabilities development across Europe and North America.