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A European project to integrate existing national and transnational maritime surveillance systems is under way.

The new, common maritime information sharing environment will benefit national coordination centers, Frontex and the European Maritime Safety Agency.

A Spanish company Indra will coordinate the work of the 29 partners from 12 countries in the project, which is the flagship of maritime security within the VII Framework Program of the European Union.

The project, called Perseus, has a budget of $63 million and an execution period of four years.

Indra said Perseus addresses the call for an integrated European system for maritime border control. Its purpose is to build and demonstrate an EU maritime surveillance system integrating existing national and communitarian installations and enhancing them with innovative technologies.

The new surveillance system is expected to increase the effectiveness of current systems by creating a common maritime information sharing environment using and integrating information provided by the European and national agencies.

The project envisages collaboration with non-European countries and international agencies such as NATO or the International Maritime Organization.

Multiple sensors and sources of information will be incorporated in the system, Indra said.

The first demonstration will take place in 2013 within the Western Mediterranean Basin from the Atlantic approach to Italy and North Western Africa. The second is scheduled for 2014 in the area of the Aegean Sea and Samos Island channel, potentially including an extension up to the Black Sea.

Based on the results, Perseus will define the technical standards and recommendations for the future European integrated maritime border control system.

See our more indepth view by Mark Lowe at http://www.marsecreview.com/2011/03/perseus-has-started/

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