Manned Aircraft

Manned aircraft are a platform technology that can be equipped with a variety of sensors including radars and imaging platforms to detect illegal fishing in real time. Most manned aircraft are fixed-wing airplanes that are launched from land. However, rotorcraft, or helicopters, are typically preferred if launched directly from boats because they do not need a runway. Manned aircraft vary in endurance, speed, range, and operational costs. Manned aircraft remain one of the few options for enforcement and interdiction of illegal fishing in real time although they are most often used for surveillance purposes. The design of light to medium size aircraft specifically for maritime surveillance is a recently growing market. Prior to this, formerly military aircraft were used in this role and are associated with high purchasing and operational costs. There are options both to purchase aircraft or to purchase services, as in a “pay per patrol” model with a commercial operator that can suit different budgets, technical capacities and patrol needs.


Courtesy of Wikimedia

340 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

The 340 maritime surveillance aircraft was introduced by SAAB in 2012 and is a re-design of the civil 340 specifically designed for coastal security.

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Airbus Helicopter AS365 3+

Previously known as the AS365 Dauphin, the AS365 3+ is a medium-weight helicopter that has been in global military and civil operations since 1975.

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The AT-802U is a tough, powerful, cost-efficient, and rapidly deployable aircraft. It has multi-mission capabilities and is built for rugged environments such as those combatting illegal fishing and protecting MPAs far out at sea.

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Bombardier 605 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft

Boeing's Bombardier 605 Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) is currently undergoing testing to head to market. The aircraft is well-suited for monitoring MPAs and is capable of conducting a variety of maritime missions.

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C-295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft

The C-295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) is a multi-role maritime patrol aircraft derived from the C-295 military aircraft with a mission system that equips the aircraft to conduct maritime patrol, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface warfare missions.

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Manufactured by Airbus since 1988, the CN235 is a medium weight fixed wing marine patrol aircraft, that is designed to provide surveillance over large maritime areas to detect illegal activity.

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Dornier 228 Multirole

The Dornier 223 is a versatile manned aircraft that can be deployed in a variety of operations ranging from search and rescue missions, border control, and fishery protection.

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P-3 Orion

The P-3 Orion is a four turboprop, antisubmarine and maritime surveillance aircraft that was developed in the 1960s and has been in use by the US military for 50 years.

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PZL Mielec M28 Skytruck/Bryza Aircraft

The M28 Skytruck/Bryza is a multi-mission aircraft that can be deployed in troop and cargo transport, med-evacuation, maritime patrol, and reconnaissance. It's short take off and landing capabilities make it suited to working in small island environments and priority areas for combatting illegal fishing.

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Swordfish Maritime Patrol Aircraft

SAAB released the Swordfish Maritime Patrol Aircraft platform in 2016. It is an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission system that is used for long-duration patrols, search and rescue missions and antisubmarine operations. It can be fitted onto two manned aircraft, Bombardier's Q400 turboprop and Global 6000 jet.

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Manned Sensing Packages

Manned sensing packages are customized technology suites designed to enhance the surveillance capabilities of aircrafts. The packages include sensor payloads and technology affixed to the underside of aircrafts. Manned sensing packages are the civilian alternative to the military-derived Intelligence, Reconnaissance, and Surveillance (IRS) systems, designed to track targets in coordination with tactical teams. Manned sensing packages include a range of technologies: cameras, electro-optic and infrared (EO/IR) sensors, synthetic aperture and maritime radars, communications systems, and other technologies. New technologies can be added to the packages as they are released. The packages function differently than single sensor payloads in that they are designed and integrated to perform specific, enhanced functions.

Customized Manned Aerial Sensing Operations

Momentum Aerospace Group (MAG) designs and deploys customized manned aerial sensing operations, which include the aircraft and the sensor platform, for a variety of needs such as securing borders, assessing the environment, mapping land, patrolling maritime waters and providing relief, among others.

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Sea Dragon

Originally designed for the US Military's Pacific Command and to specifically to target illegal fishing in the Pacific Ocean, Technology Service Corporation (TSC)'s Sea Dragon is an adaptable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission. The system can be adapted for a variety of different aircraft, with a payload that is also customizable to suit different mission needs.

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MANU SAN FELIX/Courtesy of National Geographic Society

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