Tekever resumes drone patrols along the Mediterranean

Portuguese drone technology company Tekever has resumed drone maritime reconnaissance and surveillance missions to look out for illegal immigrant activities on the shores of South Western Europe.

The missions – carried out in the Mediterranean Sea in the European airspace on the borders of Italy, Spain and Portugal, among other countries – had been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Part of our mission is to help detect situations where lives can be saved and provide the authorities with intelligence that can prevent further illegal activities,” Tekever CEO, Ricardo Mendes in a statement.

“During the pandemic, we’ve witnessed a meaningful increase in demand for our products and services. COVID-19 highlights the importance of unmanned technology, as it provides the authorities with tools that can be effective even while operated from a distance in safe environment.”

Mendes added that his company’s unmanned systems have surpassed 2,000 flight hours in support of maritime surveillance missions in Europe. The company has been carrying out operations using its AR3 and AR5 systems, which offer more than 16 hours of endurance, for maritime surveillance, pollution monitoring and supporting the fight against trafficking, illegal migration and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

“Our operational teams have now thousands of hours of experience across our platforms, make our products simpler and safer to use, more mission effective and operationally more efficient. We’re working everyday with security forces and aviation authorities in Europe and abroad, bringing them this accumulated experience to help make unmanned systems a wide-spread reality in support of non-military operations throughout the world,” said Mendes.

Tekever is now extending its services in other parts of the world, operating in more than twenty countries. In Africa and Southeast Asia, the company offers support to multiple types of land-based missions, including detection and monitoring services for rural and forest fires.

Besides patrolling the European borders on the lookout for illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean, Tekever also monitors trafficking and illegal fishing, in operations that are closely coordinated with other airborne, maritime and land-based assets from each countries’ security forces.

Founded by former students of the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Tekever now operates in more than 20 countries and produces its unmanned aerial vehicles in Portugal (Caldas da Rainha and Ponte de Sor) and the United Kingdom.


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