The Portuguese coastline including Madeira and the Azores islands is 1860 km long. To date, the Portuguese Navy has experimented with several small tactical unmanned air systems.
In addition to ground-based tests, from 2003 to 2007, the Navy completed five sea-based sorties of a commercial off-the shelf Multiplex UAV from Portuguese Navy fast patrol boats (FPB) NRP Centauro, NRP Cassiopeia, and NRP Hidra. The water-proofed UAV was hand-launched and recovered into a net on the stern of the FPBs. These tests were carried out with the support of New University of Lisbon and the Portuguese Naval Academy.
Researchers from the University of Porto and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) also demonstrated UAVs, UUVs, and the Wave Glider USV from Portuguese Navy craft during the Rapid Environment Picture 2013" (REP-13) environmental surveys from 8-18 July 2013 off the coast of Sesimbra, near Lisbon, Portugal.
Engineers from the University of Porto prepare to launch an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from the ramp of a landing craft supplied by the Portuguese Navy for the REP-13 experiment. Image: Marina Oliveira.
More recently, the Navy tested the electrically-powered AR4 Light Ray Tekever UAV.