Spanish Navy monitors piracy in the Gulf of Guinea with the Marine Instruments drone

Spanish Navy monitors piracy in the Gulf of Guinea with the Marine Instruments drone
13 March 2024

The Spanish Navy has deployed the UAV M5D-Airfox in surveillance and maritime security operations along the western coast of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea. For the first time, this mission has incorporated this drone designed and manufactured by the Spanish company Marine Instruments. The M5D-Airfox, acquired by the Navy, has been specifically integrated into the Maritime Action Ship (BAM) Furor, with the mission of contributing to maritime surveillance and security and to increase cooperative security with the countries of the region, including the protection and security of maritime traffic, the deterrence of piracy and armed robbery, and the control and pursuit of illicit trafficking of persons and narcotics.

The M5D-Airfox is an unmanned aircraft powered by solar energy, specifically designed to operate from naval platforms and in maritime environments. With a range of up to 10 hours under optimal insolation conditions, a range of 18 nautical miles, and a 360-degree HD camera with real-time transmission, this UAV offers high performance in this type of mission. Weighing only 4 kg and with a wingspan of 2.5 meters, it can be launched manually or via catapult and is recovered with a net. Additionally, the system features simple operation and a high degree of automation, allowing it to carry out a variety of military and security operations for surveillance, tracking, and target detection.

Thus, the M5D-Airfox, piloted by Navy operators, becomes another “sensor” of the ship, significantly increasing its visual range in a sustainable and discreet manner, becoming a true multiplier of the ship’s detection capabilities.

The BAM Furor will be deployed for several months in the operational area with the aim of securing maritime routes. In addition, the Furor will participate in military cooperation operations and training for regional naval forces in their fight against piracy and terrorism. It will also be involved in humanitarian rescue missions and marine pollution control efforts. During its deployment, the Furor will make port calls in Ivory Coast, Gabon, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Cameroon, Senegal, and Mauritania, collaborating with the naval forces of these countries.

Stability in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea also affects the security of Spain. Therefore, the operations carried out from the BAM Furor, with the presence of the M5D-Airfox, significantly contribute to countering piracy and other illicit activities at sea, thus protecting the maritime and commercial interests of the country.