NATO exercises with new maritime unmanned systems in Portugal

  • 18 Sep. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 19 Sep. 2023 14:01

Two exercises focusing on the integration of new maritime technologies into NATO operations and the ability of autonomous underwater vehicles to operate together are being held in Portugal this month.

New Maritime Unmanned Systems are the focus of two exercises held in Portugal

Starting on Monday (18 September 2023) the NATO-led exercise Dynamic Messenger 23 focuses on integrating Maritime Unmanned Systems into operations, including personnel, training and readiness issues. Dynamic Messenger 23 gathers more than 2000 civilian and military personnel on shore and on board ships as part of the exercise. Fourteen NATO Allies, including the host nation Portugal, are participating in the exercise, together with partner Sweden. This is the second iteration of the Dynamic Messenger series that started in 2022. The exercise is conducted under the joint leadership of NATO’s Allied Command Transformation in the United States and NATO’s Allied Maritime Command MARCOM in Northwood, UK.

Exercise REPMUS 23 (Robotic Experimentation and Prototyping with Maritime Unmanned Systems) takes place in the same region and focuses on capability development and interoperability.  REPMUS is led by the host nation Portugal with NATO as a key player since 2019. The exercise is co-organised by the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE), the University of Porto’s Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technology (LSTS), and NATO’s Maritime Unmanned Systems Initiative (MUSI). Fifteen NATO nations are participating in the exercise, along with partners Ireland and Sweden.

Both REPMUS 23 and DYNAMIC MESSENGER 23 have developed significant partnerships between the private sector and academia, and provide guidance for technology advancements, operational concepts, doctrine, and future work programmes. Both exercises are being held around the Troia Peninsula, in Portugal. Exercise Dynamic Messenger 23 takes place from 18 to 29 September 2023 and Exercise REPMUS 23 takes place from 11 to 22 September 2023.