CMRE's Ship Management Office (SMO) operates the only 2 NATO-owned research ships, the NATO Research Vessel Alliance, and the Coastal Research Vessel Leonardo.
The NATO Research Vessel (NRV) Alliance, designed specially for underwater acoustic research, is capable of operating in all the oceans of strategic importance to NATO nations. It is equipped with extensive and sophisticated navigation, communications and computer equipment, winches, cranes, loading frames and other deck machinery for the deployment, towing and recovery of a variety of sensor arrays and oceanographic instrumentation in all sea conditions.
The Coastal Research Vessel (CRV) Leonardo has been designed to provide a stable yet flexible sea going scientific platform suitable for operations in shallower waters. Like NRV Alliance, CRV Leonardo has a state-of-the-art communication and navigation system as well as substantial deck handling equipment.