The Ghana National Petroleum Authority (GNPC) has presented two Deltaquad Surveillance Drones to the Ghana Navy and the Ghana Boundary Commission to support monitoring activities within the country’s territorial boundaries.
Major General Emmanuel Kotia, the National Coordinator of the Ghana Boundary Commission, giving the features of the drone, said it had a 110 minutes’ flight time, maximum coverage of 100 kilometers per hour (KPH), a maximum altitude of 4,000 meters, 56 KPH cruise speed.
Maj. Gen. Kotia added that the drones were fixed with wings, and equipped with Lidar-type dual cameras, adding that it was the first time that such type of drone camera would be used in Ghana.
He thanked the GNPC for its continuous support for the Commission and stated that the commissioning of drones would help the Commission in collaboration with the Navy to ensure the security of Ghana’s maritime boundaries around the clock.
He said the Commission and the Ghana Navy would organise a joint maritime boundary inspection using the Navy ship along the Eastern and Western Maritime domains with the drones before the end of the year.
He added that they would also ensure that the territorial sovereignty of Ghana was safeguarded noting that the key characteristic of the state was that it must have defined boundary demarcations for both lands, air, and maritime.
Maj. Gen. Kotia said without such boundaries the security agencies would not be able to carry out any task, adding that it was for that reason that they needed to collaborate at the highest level.
Mr. Benjamin Acolatse, GNPC Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said the Company decided to support the Ghana Navy in its operations such as detecting and monitoring vessels remotely, surveillance and tracking of suspicious activities, and monitoring offshore or isolated sites.
Mr Acolatse said GNPC would continue to work with stakeholders to advance a common goal of a secured maritime zone as national development weighed very heavily on maritime activities for future growth, and the expansion of the economy as well as the oil and gas sector.
He said as part of the partnership, GNPC had exclusively funded the activities of the Ghana Boundary commission, which led to the historic success achieved in the maritime boundary dispute with Ivory Coast.
He noted that they were also working with the stakeholders, especially the Ghana Navy towards the decommissioning of the Saltpond Oil Field, which was Ghana’s first oil field.
In a welcome address, Commodore Emmanuel Ayesu Kwafo, Outgoing Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, said the Gulf of Guinea had been bedevilled with several maritime crimes, including piracy, smuggling, Illegal Unreported, and Unregulated fishing.
Commodore Kwafo added that the transitional nature of some of the crimes made the surveillance of Ghana’s maritime borders an imperative, adding that it was commendable and timely that GNPC bought the drones to aid such surveillance.
He added that the Ghana Navy has made efforts to modernize its operations by leveraging technology to improve security in Ghana’s waters.
He explained that to integrate drone operations into its operations Ghana Navy has established Drone Squadron and trained personnel in drone usage and maintenance.
As part of the commissioning, one of the drones was used for a five-minute demonstration surveillance at the Tema