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edited by Curtis Hand

At the end of a highly-contested competition, the European Commission selected a European consortium led by ETME (Greece) with two of the largest EU defence maritime manufacturers Naval Group (France) and Navantia (Spain) to fulfil the USSPS Project.


Through the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) the highest level of naval engineering and technical coordination experience is ensured for the European Unmanned Semi-Fixed Sea Platforms for Maritime Surveillance (USSPS) will develop a system to improve Maritime Surveillance. The project will exploit unmanned, semi-fixed platforms at sea and develop the backbone of an advance (C5ISTAR) federated system of systems.

One of EMTE’s FloatMasts being towed into position. Image: EMTE

USSPS will integrate legacy assets and systems with new innovative solutionsto improve maritime surveillance capabilities. Some readers will recall that under its former name, the Naval Group has been present in Greece since 2008. So its participation is expected. As a bidder in the frigates programme, Naval Group designed a robust Hellenic Industry participation plan to develop new capacities in
the Greek industry, sustaining several hundreds of highly-qualified jobs and generating long-term economic spin-offs in Greece.
The Project will reduce costs related to high-value asset utilisation and provide cross-domain persistent and permanent maritime situational awareness.
The USSPS corsortium will develop an unmanned, highly-autonomous, energy efficient platforms based on miniaturised oil rig technology that is capable of integrating a wide range of air, surface and subsurface sensors.

One of ETME’s FloatMasts sitting in position and loaded with technology. Image: ETME

These platforms will enable deployment in any geographical region – including all types of sea-beds and deep-sea regions – and operate under adverse environmental conditions.
With ETME as consortium leader and Naval Group as Technical coordinator, the consortium brings together major European industrial actors that include: Applied Intelligence Analytics Limited, Prolexia, Multimedia Workshop, Sener Aeroespacial, SIGNALGENERIX, SMST Designer & Constructors, Techlam, Tecnobit Slu, Unmanned Teknologies Applications) as well as research centres, Cyprus Research And Innovation Centre, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, and Stichting Maritiem Research Instituut Nederland.
Together, they will create a very innovative and high-value solution to secure and protect various maritime areas allowing to cover both air, surface and underwater dimensions thanks to suitable sensors.

Emerging from the original patented concept of platforms developed by ETME, a Greek leading company specialized in design and management of engineering works and innovative solution, the USSPS system will combine innovative solutions for the integration and coordination of C5ISTAR capabilities to generate maritime surveillance networks of sensors based on semi-fixed unmanned platforms, making Greece a new centre for naval innovations.