On Tuesday 10 September, EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Spanish warship ESPS Meteoro embarked a Skeldar V-200 Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the port of Djibouti.
Prior to embarking the UAV on board the ESPS Meteoro, it was tested by the Spanish Navy in Canary Islands waters on board the Spanish Maritime Action Ship Relámpago. The UAV’s first sea operation will commence in mid September, during Meteoro counter piracy patrols in the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in Gulf of Aden. The patrols help to provide a safe and secure environment for merchant vessels transiting the sea area.
ESPS Meteoro is a “Maritime Action” class ship of Spanish Ocean Patrol Vessels, based in Las Palmas (Canary Islands). She departed her home port on 15 July to join the EU Naval Force and will return home early December.
Since joining Operation Atalanta, the ship has sailed over 6000 miles, conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden and wider Indian Ocean to deter and disrupt acts of piracy.
Press Release, September 16, 2013; Image: EU NAVFOR