#NavalService - Use of drones by the Irish Naval Service is set to be stepped up in a bid to clamp down on illegal fishing and pollution offenses at sea.
Remotely operated pilot air systems writes the Irish Central have been identified by naval chiefs as essential for obtaining intelligence and keeping a check on Ireland's vast marine territory.
Sources also said naval operations tasked with gathering video evidence of illegal fishing and pollution offenses at sea as ones which would benefit from advanced drone technology.
The growing support for expanding the usage of drones on maritime missions follows the success of a pilot trial in the Mediterranean last year which saw the LE Eithne become the first naval vessel to use drone technology during its deployment on humanitarian rescue operations.
The missions, part of the EU-led Operation Sophia (see LE James Joyce deployment) trialed the Phantom 4 PRO, drones which can stay airborne for 35 minutes and which have a maximum range of eight kilometers.
More on the drone development, click the link here.