Thales has signed a contract to deliver the Fulmar unmanned aircraft system (UAS) system to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA). The Spanish-designed fixed wing UAS, is to be installed on six New Generation Patrol Craft (NGPC), being constructed by Destini Shipbuilding and Engineering Sdn. Bhd. Fulmar was initially selected in November 2015.
Fulmar — which is offered in land and naval versions — has a 3m wingspan and can carry an 8kg payload. The naval version is launched from the shipdeck and can be recovered on board or from the sea surface. Operational capabilities include counter-piracy, anti-smuggling operations, fisheries policing and border surveillance. Fulmar offers automatic detection and tracking systems and Automatic Identification System (AIS) capability.
Starting in 2016, Thales employees in Malaysia will provide local training and support for the Fulmar, ensuring effective knowledge transfer for operational and maintenance needs throughout the system’s life cycle.
Coupling of Fulmar to the Thales Maritime Command & Control application has been demonstrated to more than 50 European Coast Guards and representatives of the EU's Frontex border control agency in field testing and during recovery trials for the Spanish Navy using a net on top of the frigate’s flight deck. Frontex is currently exploring the use of remotely piloted aircraft for maritime border surveillance.