TCOM, a global leader of ISR Tethered Aerostat Solutions, is honored to announce it was invited to share its latest innovative solutions for maritime border security by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), at the first European Coast Guard Cooperation Network meeting. Held in Warsaw, Poland on November 8-10, the event highlighted the new agency’s expanded role in the maritime arena.
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (evolved from Frontex in September 2016) stands at the center of Europe’s efforts to expand international cooperation on carrying out various coast guard functions. In addition to border control, these include: maritime safety, security, search and rescue, fisheries control, customs, law enforcement and environmental protection. Its extensive presence at EU maritime borders makes Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, an ideal platform to facilitate cooperation between national law enforcement, customs and other authorities operating in the maritime domain and European agencies as part of European Integrated Border Management.
In multi-purpose operations, vessels and aircraft deployed by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency cooperate with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to spot sea pollution and other possible violations of maritime conventions. Alongside the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), Frontex collects and shares information to be used to detect illegal fishing. The agency also closely cooperates with Europol and law enforcement bodies of Member States to combat serious cross-border crime, including trafficking of human beings and terrorism.
One of the objectives of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency is to keep the EU Member States/Schengen Associated Countries and other stakeholders informed about new technological developments in the field of maritime border control.
During the meeting, TCOM presented the usage of Tactical Aerostats for Maritime Domain Awareness. Aerostat systems have the payload size, weight and power capacity to support high-performance maritime radars. With an advanced maritime radar, a single sea surveillance system can track maritime targets at distances of 60 nautical miles and cover thousands of square miles for weeks at a time. In addition to the radar, the aerostat can simultaneously support passive surveillance payloads like COMINT, SIGINT, and ELINT, thermal imaging and optical sensors, as well as communications payloads at the lowest possible hourly cost for an airborne asset. The early detection and direct communications with air and sea assets afford the critical window of time to evaluate the situation, coordinate forces, and engage.
The gathering brought together representatives of more than 40 different national authorities of EU member states, including coast guards, navies, border police, customs and maritime authorities. Also in attendance were representatives of various EU agencies, other EU bodies and three international organizations (UNHCR, Interpol and NATO), as well as officials from eight non-EU countries, including the United States, Australia, Libya and Morocco.
According to Frontex, “Maritime operations account for the largest share of the budget of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard. Spending on them already surpasses EUR 100 million annually, almost four times the amount Frontex had spent on sea operations just two years earlier.” Joint operations, such as Triton in Italy and Poseidon in Greece, make Frontex an ideal platform to develop cooperation between national law enforcement, customs and other authorities operating in the maritime domain and European agencies.
About TCOM, LP:
TCOM, LP is a global leader of Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) solutions of Lighter-than-Air Persistent Surveillance Tethered Aerostat platforms for Air, Maritime, and Land. For over 40 years, the company’s pioneering innovations have defined the persistent surveillance and Lighter-than-Air industries. By blending leading edge technology, manufacturing and field operation capabilities, TCOM has provided ISR systems for the United States and foreign governments with complete persistent surveillance capabilities. Our systems are in use around the globe including theaters of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. TCOM’s delivered systems include fixed-site deployments, fully transportable systems and specialized sea-based deployments. TCOM’s headquarters are based in Columbia, MD and the Manufacturing & Flight Test Facility is located near Elizabeth City, NC. TCOM is the only company in the world devoted to cost-effective LTA surveillance solutions with in-house aerostat and airship manufacture, assembly, flight test, and training capabilities. Learn more at https://www.tcomlp.com
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