Search and Rescue - ISR, Maritime Patrol, OPV and UAV Assets in the Arctic: Market Insight and Requirements Report 2016

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As the Arctic becomes an increasingly important strategic and political region, governments across the region are making their interests and priorities in the region known. Militaries are increasing their presence in the region as it continues to grow in statue as an important political outpost. The increase in Arctic tourism and melting ice that has opened shipping lanes means maritime and coast guard authorities may need more SAR capabilities in the region in the future.

The High North remains a complex operating environment and both technical shortfalls and equipment shortages mean that operators continue to face substantial information gaps. The Earth’s geometry also hinders Arctic operations, as the orbits of some satellites degrade services at high latitudes. Also, significant magnetic and solar interference degrades high data rate communications, thus limiting domain awareness.

Demonstrating the growing need for SAR in the region, the Danish authorities are organising an international exercise to better prepare for SAR operations. Arctic LIVEX16 is a full scale exercise planned by Danish Defense, the Danish Emergency Management Authority, and Danish National Police. It is being held in Greenland in 2016  between all parties involved in a crisis situation in Greenland, such as the fire department, health authorities, environment authorities, the municipality, Greenland Government, Joint Arctic Command, Greenland Police, private companies, and national authorities in Denmark including the whole national crisis setup in Denmark.

The following report provides a select overview of SAR assets for countries with an interest in the Arctic, including details of the latest known programmes and requirements for equipment relevant to operations in the Arctic.