VILNIUS, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Lithuanian Navy has been conducting tests of communication technologies in the Baltic Sea, allowing real-time maritime surveillance by using drones moving above and under water as well as in the air, the country's Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday.
The tests conducted on Monday and Tuesday involve "the latest technologies for European maritime security," said the ministry, calling the tests "unique".
"The tested unmanned drones would allow our ships to respond faster, while the communication equipment would help exchange information with onshore headquarters," Commander of Lithuanian Navy Lieutenant Remigijus Zabiela was quoted by the ministry as saying.
Tests by the Lithuanian Navy in the Baltic Sea are part of the OCEAN2020 project, which is the European Union program aimed at stepping up innovation in the naval forces.
"This is technologically as well as strategically important project. The developed innovations would ensure the military safety of the European seas," said Zabiela, noting the tests are the first for the Lithuanian Navy.
To conduct the tests, the Lithuanian Navy teamed up with the Baltic Institute of Advanced Technology, which also develops augmented reality solutions for unmanned aircraft operations and plans to apply them in the OCEAN2020 project.
Lithuania, a small Baltic country with a population of around three million and the eastern-flank member country of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has stepped up its defense capabilities in recent years, citing tensions in eastern Europe.