Association Technique Maritime et Aéronautique

Numéro : 2766 - Year : 2021

Increasing the war ship detection range with a TFS (Tethered Flying Sensors)

Cyrille MOIRET - Naval Group – Naval Architect – Lorient (France)

Marc GROZEL - Naval Group – UAV Expert – Lorient (France)

Frédéric GOURMELEN - Naval Group – Combat System Engineer – Lorient (France)

Benoît LE BERR - SIREHNA – Aeromaritim developpement Engineer – Bouguenais (France)


A combat ship must have, in real time and continuously, the situation of the maritime space in which it operates during its movements and its surveillance and combat operations. The major challenge of this monitoring of the sea surface, is to look beyond the horizon in order to increase the range of detection of a threat situation and also to increase the capacity to engage operational actions, both in terms of range and time, means of response and availability.

To see far, it is necessary either to integrate sensors on masts but whose performance is limited by their height from the sea, or to deploy manned or uninhabited aircraft whose field of action and duration of interventions are limited.

To meet the need for H24/360° extension and permanence to monitor the sea surface in favour of a vessel, Naval Group proposes a hybrid concept of captive flying craft allowing to place in altitude above the ship a payload capable of providing such surveillance beyond the horizon.

This innovative machine, using several technological components, required an experiment to assess its operational interest and a technical study based on technical and operational analysis and a preliminary design study. These investigations confirmed the operational interest of the TFS concept, simplicity of use and economic profitability while ensuring an increase in the vessel’s detection performance.


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