European Maritime Defence Project Involving Poland

Image Credit: OBR CTM S.A.
Image Credit: OBR CTM S.A.

OBR CTM S.A. company (Research and Development Center - Center for Maritime Technology) is involved in the European HARMSPRO initiative. The Polish company is making use of its expertise gathered in the domain of systems used for monitoring and protecting harbours and coastal waters and puts it into practical application, within the scope of the aforesaid project driven by EDA.

The goal of the international HARMSPRO project (Harbour & Maritime Surveillance and Protection) is to create a system that would facilitate monitoring and protection of harbour and coastal waters. The project is one of several undertakings of the EU implemented within the framework of PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation).

The assumption is that, via the HARMSPRO project, the member states would obtain new capabilities, allowing them to monitor and protect maritime areas, from coastal waters to harbours. The whole initiative is also going to concern maritime routes and so called “choke points” - straits and channels. All of the above is aimed at ensuring security for marine traffic and structures.

The monitoring capacity is to be provided thanks to an integrated, complex system with an open architecture making it possible to fuse and process the gathered data for the purpose of detecting and identifying the potential threats in the maritime domain. The system would be making use of sensors, surface, submersible and air platforms, coupled with special purpose software suite. The target solution is going to be developed in stationary and portable variants, designed for monitoring harbours, anchorages and coastal waters.

Italy acts as the leading nation of the project, however Poland, and particularly the OBR CTM S.A. company (Research and Development Center - Center for Maritime Technology), may also play a significant role within the initiative. OBR CTM S.A. entity, that is a part of the PGZ Group, is planning to get involved in that project, with all of its know-how and expertise in the area of development, manufacturing, delivery and integration of multi-sensor solutions or elements thereof (with the portable magnetic barrier being a highlight here). Those solutions developed by OBR CTM could be useful to protect critical infrastructure, including harbours, liquefied natural gas and crude oil terminals, passenger terminals, oil platforms and other maritime structures.

Some of the aforesaid solutions have been developed and tested within the framework of the NATO „Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work” (DAT PoW) project. OBR CTM S.A.’s representatives also note that their involvement in the OCEAN2020 project run by EDA (related to HARMSPRO) may also be useful. The goal of the initiative above is to increase the potential offered by the unmanned air, naval and submersible platforms, within the scope of monitoring and observing the water bodies.

Solutions developed by OBR CTM have already seen some practical application. They have been used to provide security during „The Tall Ships’ Races” events, to offer underwater protection for critical structures, during the EU meetings, and to detect attempts of illegal border crossing.

Thanks to the experience mentioned above, an international conference was organized at the OBR CTM HQ, devoted to the HARMSPRO project. The conference in question was a part of an official visit of the member state delegates organized between 12th and 14th March 2019 by the national coordinator of the project - the Inspectorate of the Polish Navy of the General Command of the Armed Forces.

The meeting involved representatives of the Ministries of Defence of Italy, Poland, Greece, Estonia and science and industry professionals from numerous countries. The event had an open profile for the representatives of institutions and companies that expressed their interest in the project.