The Robotic Experimentation Prototyping augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems exercise took place on the Portuguese southwest coast, near the Setubal peninsula, from September 13th to 24th, 2021.

The 2021 edition took place in the Portuguese Exercise Areas and at the Portuguese Navy's Operational Experimentation Centre. Organised by the Portuguese Navy, the Faculty of Engineering of Porto University, the NATO Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation and the NATO Maritime Unmanned Systems Initiative, the exercise had the participation of 17 Navies, 15 Research and Development companies, 1 University and 6 NATO entities Headquarters and Centres of Excellence.

The Robotic Experimentation Prototyping augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems is an exercise designed to enable, on an annual basis, large-scale experimentation, where Operational Communities work together with Academia and Industry to develop and test operational concepts and requirements, technological advances and improvements in sensors, Command, Control and Communications, tactics and procedures on the employment of Maritime Unmanned Systems in maritime operations.

NATO’s Maritime Geospatial, Meteorological & Oceanographic Centre of Excellence  plays a leadership role in the coordination of the Rapid Environmental Assessment Working Group. The Centre was responsible for coordinating the employment of all Maritime Unmanned Systems conducting Rapid Environmental Assessment observations, evaluate maturity level, assess their accuracy, timeliness, consistency and relevance to support future NATO Rapid Environmental Assessment operations.

NATO Centres of Excellence are nationally or multi-nationally funded institutions accredited by NATO. They train and educate leaders and specialists from NATO member and partner countries, assist in doctrine development, identify lessons learned, improve interoperability and capabilities, and test and validate concepts through experimentation. They offer recognized expertise and experience that is of benefit to the Alliance and support the transformation of NATO, while avoiding the duplication of assets, resources and capabilities already present within the NATO command structure.