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Author: Subject: Unmanned Surface Vessels
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[*] posted on 8-2-2019 at 02:29 PM


A HELRAS Dipping Sonar Completed Sea Acceptance Test Onboard the Seagull USV

(Source: Elbit Systems; issued Feb 07, 2019)

HAIFA, Israel --- In a Sea Acceptance Test (SAT) performed by the Israeli Navy, a Helicopter Long-Range Active Sonar (HELRAS) dipping sonar was successfully converted for operation onboard the Seagull, Elbit Systems' Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV).

Operating a dipping sonar onboard a USV significantly increases the operational working time and substantially enhances that detection capabilities and the effectiveness of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW).

The Seagull autonomous multi-mission USV features switchable, modular mission payload suites and can perform, in addition to ASW, Mine Countermeasure missions (MCM), Electronic Warfare (EW), Maritime Security (MS), Hydrography and other missions using the same vessel, mission control system and data links. Seagull offers navies a true force multiplier delivering enhanced performance to naval operations, reducing risk to human life and dramatically cutting procurement and operating costs.

Background notes:

Operational with the Israeli Navy, Elbit Systems' Seagull USV performed superbly in the Belgian Defence Ministry 2017 North Sea trials and has been participating regularly in international naval exercises conducting Mine Counter Measures and Anti-Submarine Warfare missions.

NATO forces deployed the Seagull USV during a Joint Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise with the Spanish Navy's Santa Maria-class frigate "Victoria" and the Royal Navy's Type-45 HMS Duncan;

The Seagull USV participated in a joint Mine Counter Measure (MCM) exercise between the British Royal Navy and the Israeli Navy in which the Seagull USV was tasked with securing a path for HMS Ocean, the UK helicopter carrier.

Carrying out an autonomous end-to-end unmanned Mine Counter Measure (MCM) mission in sea states 5 and 6 in the Belgian North Sea MCM Trials that were conducted at the beginning of June 2017 off the Belgian Zeebrugge Naval Base.

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs throughout the world. The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance ("C4ISR"), unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems, radios and cyber-based systems.

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[*] posted on 8-2-2019 at 09:26 PM


HELRAS dipping sonar completes acceptance tests on Seagull USV

Richard Scott, London - Jane's International Defence Review

07 February 2019


The Helicopter Long-Range Active Sonar (HELRAS) has been successfully integrated to the Seagull unmanned surface vessel. Source: Elbit Systems

Israeli systems house Elbit Systems has successfully integrated an L3 Technologies Helicopter Long-Range Active Sonar (HELRAS) active low frequency dipping sonar into its Seagull multimission unmanned surface vehicle (USV).

The company announced on 7 February that the Israeli Navy had performed a sea acceptance test with the HELRAS-configured Seagull USV.

Seagull is a modular 12 m USV developed by Elbit for operation from either a mother ship or shore station. Designed for a mission endurance in excess of 96 hours, it marries a highly autonomous core command and control/situational awareness suite with modular payload packages tailored to specific missions including mine countermeasures (MCM), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), hydrography, electronic warfare, and maritime security.

HELRAS, which is deployed from a moonpool in the USV's hull, is the latest sensor/effector payload to be integrated into the Seagull system. According to Elbit, operating a dipping sonar onboard a USV "significantly increases the operational working time and substantially enhances [ASW] detection capabilities and effectiveness".

Elbit has previously integrated lightweight torpedo launchers on Seagull, performing a test launch in mid-2016. In December 2018 Leonardo announced that it had teamed with Elbit to develop and demonstrate lightweight torpedo and mini-torpedo launch capabilities from the Seagull USV; the solution is based on the same architecture used for airborne torpedo launch systems.

The trial, which was performed out of Israel's Haifa port, demonstrated the capability of Seagull to install and launch lightweight torpedoes, adding to the capabilities of the USV, which is designed to carry out unmanned maritime missions, such as protection of critical sea areas and high-value assets against submarines and sea mine threats, the company said in its statement.

Seagull development and test previously focused on MCM payloads, with Elbit performing successful integrations with the R2Sonic forward-looking sonar, the Klein 5900 towed multibeam side-scan sonar, the ECA H800 remotely operated vehicle, and the ECA K-ster mine disposal vehicle.

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[*] posted on 9-2-2019 at 04:55 PM


Five-Year Partnership to Develop Life-Saving Maritime Autonomous Technology

(Source: Thales; issued Feb 07, 2019)

Thales has entered into a major five-year research partnership with the University of Southampton, which will help to shape the future of the Royal Navy. Only the second such agreement that Thales has made with a British university, the partnership brings together some of the most talented scientific minds in the world.

The first project will look at maritime autonomous vehicles – a particular area of interest for the Royal Navy – to develop the technology, processes and procedures needed to empower the next generation of unmanned boats, submarines and aircraft.

A deeper relationship

Thales has previously worked with the university on several other successful projects, including experimentation with aircraft connectivity, unmanned aerial systems and quantum navigation technology, but the new arrangement will create an even closer and more productive relationship.

Importantly, the agreement creates a common framework which can be applied to each project, regardless of its scope and purpose, and makes it easier to launch and develop these activities. It will also create valuable spin-off opportunities for many small-to medium-sized businesses.

Developing new capabilities for the Royal Navy

The Royal Navy has recently tested some of Thales’s maritime autonomous technology including unmanned air vehicles and Halcyon, an autonomous boat. These and other vessels have the potential to be used in self-governing fleets, as well as individually, to perform extended surveillance and life-saving mine clearance operations.

In many ways, the partnership between the University of Southampton and Thales is an ideal match. Both perform world-class maritime research and Thales already has a strong South Coast presence, including a Maritime Autonomy Centre at Turnchapel Wharf, Plymouth, where deep water tests can be performed.

By teaming up with Thales, scientists at the University of Southampton can immerse themselves in the practical application of autonomous maritime technology and the real-world challenges of making the world a safer place for our country, and for those who defend it.

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[*] posted on 16-2-2019 at 09:27 PM


A Navy Ship Sailed to Hawaii and Back With No One on Board


The Sea Hunter, a 132-foot-long self-driving ship, made history by traveling from San Diego to Hawaii's Pearl Harbor and back again without sailors aboard to guide its way. DARPA photo

15 Feb 2019

Military.com | By Gina Harkins

A 132-foot-long self-driving ship made history by traveling from San Diego to Hawaii's Pearl Harbor and back again without sailors aboard to guide its way.

The Sea Hunter, an autonomous trimaran developed for submarine hunting and counter-mine missions, traveled thousands of miles between San Diego and Pearl Harbor last month. Naval News was first to report on the ship's breakthrough voyage.

Crew members from an escort vessel boarded the Sea Hunter for short durations to check electrical and propulsion systems, according to a press release from Leidos, a science and technology company that designed and built the Sea Hunter. For most of the voyage, though, the ship was unmanned.

"The recent long-range mission is the first of its kind and demonstrates to the U.S. Navy that autonomy technology is ready to move from the developmental and experimental stages to advanced mission testing," Gerry Fasano, the defense group president at Leidos, said in the release.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR), which led the test transit to and from Hawaii, declined a request for an interview, citing operational security concerns.

Dan Brintzinghoffer, with Leidos' maritime systems division, said the idea isn't to replace ships with vehicles like Sea Hunter, but to free up personnel aboard bigger vessels to take on more complex tasks.

"Autonomous vehicles will likely focus on the 'dull, dirty or dangerous' missions sets and could operate around the world's oceans," Brintzinghoffer said. "For example, an autonomous vessel can conduct hydrographic survey missions, freeing manned ships to accomplish other missions."

When the Navy christened the Sea Hunter in 2016, officials said it could change the nature of U.S. maritime operations. It uses a suite of navigation tools and automated lookouts that allow it to safely sail near other vessels in any weather or traffic conditions during the day or night.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency led the design and construction of the vessel and then teamed with ONR for open-water testing.

The project was fully transferred to ONR in early 2018, said Bob Freeman, an agency spokesman, when it moved into a "much more security-sensitive area of research."

Leidos is currently building a second Sea Hunter hull, Brintzinghoffer said. The company was awarded a $43 million contract to start construction on the ship that will build on some of the first Sea Hunter's capabilities, Leidos announced last month.
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[*] posted on 19-2-2019 at 03:19 PM


China is working on killer robot ships of its own

By: David B. Larter   14 hours ago


Company representatives say China has a working prototype of the JARI USV, which is equipped like a mini DDG, but details beyond that are scant. (Photo by David B. Larter)

ABU DHABI –The Chinese shipbuilder China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company is developing a small unmanned surface vessel that China wants to function essentially like the uninhabited baby brother of a U.S. Arleigh Burke destroyer.

The JARI USV is a 20-ton, 15-meter boat that is orders of magnitude smaller than the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s manned Type -55 destroyer but has all the same mission areas: anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-air warfare.

A model of the drone was on display at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi.

'The JARI comes equipped with electro-optical sensor atop a superstructure, a phased array radar, a dipping sonar, eight small vertical launch system cells, a torpedo launcher and a forward mounted machine gun and rocket launcher for counter-surface engagements, according to a model displayed at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference.

The U.S. Navy has been increasingly discussing its desire to pursue unmanned technologies to fight on the surface and subsurface, employing a network of sensor and shooter drones to penetrate anti-access environments such as the South China Sea. The JARI seems to be at least part of China’s response to that kind of warfare.

According to the product video, the drone appears to be modular and reconfigurable for the different mission areas, but it’s unclear what missions are permanently integrated into the system. In the video, JARI is shown alternately shooting down an aerial drone, sinking a submarine, machine-gunning a RHIB full of adversaries trying to steal it (after firing warning shots) and sinking a surface ship that looked a little like a littoral combat ship.

The boat tops out at 42 knots and has a range of about 500 nautical miles.

Last year, when China unveiled the design at a show in Africa, a representative told Navy Recognition that the drone was for use by the PLAN and for foreign sales and that a working prototype was being tested in China.

The drone can be controlled by either a shore station or from a mother ship, Navy Recognition reported.

There is no word on what kind of communication link the boat would have and where exactly humans would be in the loop. In the video it appeared that at least the forward-mounted machine gun would fire automatically at rapidly closing surface targets after firing a round of warning shots.

In an interview with Defense News, the U.S. Navy’s Surface Warfare director said the service was looking to field a family of drones that can network back to larger manned combatants, which could remain passive and not give away their position with larger sensors such as ballistic missile defense phased array radars lit off.
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[*] posted on 19-2-2019 at 07:43 PM


XLOONG USV breaks cover [IDEX19D3]

19 February 2019



Recognising growing naval interest in the potential of unmanned and autonomous systems, China Shipbuilding Trading Co (CSSC, Stand 10-E03) has unveiled its XLOONG unmanned surface vessel (USV) concept at IDEX.

Modular in design to allow for the integration of multiple different weapon payloads, the XLOONG USV is capable of performing interdiction, patrol and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations. The craft's angled shape is designed to minimise radar cross-section.

The model displayed by CSSC at IDEX shows an interchangeable mid-body section that can be configured to host anti-ship missiles, rocket launchers or an eight-cell silo for a range of vertically launched precision-guided weapons. A further eight vertical launch cells are embedded within the vessel structure (four on either beam).

According to CSSC, the XLOONG USV incorporates a high degree of autonomy with regard to both route planning and task planning/mission management, and multiple vehicles can operate together as part of a collaborative 'swarm'. As well as operating fully unmanned, the USV can also be used in a manned mode.

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[*] posted on 20-2-2019 at 01:41 PM


Unmanned sentinel [IDEX19D4]

20 February 2019



Abu Dhabi-based Al Seer Marine Technologies (Stands B-011, B-012) is showcasing its capabilities in unmanned surface vessel (USV) design, manufacture and integration at NAVDEX 2019.

Capitalising on in-house skills in naval architecture, boat building, systems integration and technology solutions, Al Seer Marine specialises in developing tailored USV designs for specific missions, Lee Drinkwater, the company's head of business development and strategy, told the IDEX Show Daily.

"We have the ability to integrate commercial-off-the-shelf and government-furnished equipment with our own proprietary technology to meet specific requirements. Our capability also extends to the delivery of operator and maintainer training."

On display in the NAVDEX marina area is a demonstrator vessel based on Al Seer Marine's 11m Tamin series USV hull. "The interdiction craft demonstrator we are displaying this week has been adapted to integrate a Teledyne e2v RF Safe-Stop microwave system," said Drinkwater. "This is a nonlethal microwave device designed to disable marine engines."

The RF Safe-Stop system generates a directed, narrowband microwave beam. Teledyne e2v claims an effective range of more than 50 m over water against a lightweight patrol boat.

Drinkwater added: "We have integrated the RF Safe-Stop system into the Tamin hull, and developed a lifting mechanism to allow it to elevate and train. Trials have proved the performance of the system, and we are seeing a lot of interest from coastguards."

In a separate development, Al Seer Marine last year signed a partnership with Iceland's Rafnar to license the Rafnar Hull for manned and unmanned vessel applications. The unique design of the Rafnar Hull significantly minimises the effects of slamming impacts.

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[*] posted on 20-2-2019 at 01:49 PM


Inspector is unsinkable [IDEX19D4]

RICHARD SCOTT

20 February 2019



French robotics, automation and industrial group ECA (Stand 07-B57) has unveiled its new 'unsinkable' Inspector 125 unmanned surface vehicle (USV).

Developed in conjunction with its naval architecture subsidiary Mauric, the 12.3m Inspector 125 has been designed to provide increased endurance, a higher payload capacity and improved seakeeping for roles such as mine countermeasures (MCM), ocean survey, anti-submarine warfare, and force protection.

ECA has been developing USVs for approximately 15 years.

After supplying the Inspector Mk 1 remote-control target craft to France's Direction générale de l'armement in 2008, the company went on to develop the 9m Inspector Mk 2 USV, latterly rebranded as the Inspector 90.

Several Inspector 90 USVs have been sold for MCM applications in conjunction with components from ECA's proprietary Unmanned Mine Countermeasure Integrated System (UMIS). Payloads integrated include the Seascan Mk 2 remotely operated mine identification vehicle, K-ster mine neutralisers, and towed and forward-looking sonars.

According to ECA, the larger Inspector 125 USV has been brought to market to provide a platform with increased capacity and better seakeeping for the operation of autonomous underwater system payloads from the UMIS family. The basis for the new design is the robust and survivable V2 NG rescue boat designed by Mauric for the SNSM (Association of French Sea Rescuers).

"For us, this alliance of our respective know-how in robotics and naval architecture has been particularly fruitful for designing the Inspector 125," said Mauric general manager Pascal Lemesle.

"We innovated each one in our field to obtain a new generation of naval surface drone. It is more resistant and enduring, more powerful, more autonomous and more modular."

Building on the pedigree of Inspector 90, the larger Inspector 125 has been designed to automatically launch and recover ECA's unmanned maritime systems such as the A18-M AUV, the T18-M towed sonar, Seascan Mk 2 and K-ster. These can be launched and recovered, even in rough seas, using ECA's own systems.

The Inspector 125 can carry up to 3 tonnes of payload. In the standard version, it is equipped with two water-jets in order to achieve a top speed of more than 25kts at full load displacement. Alternatively, the design can be configured with twin shaft lines and propellers to meet specific towing requirements.

The large working deck aft provides space to embark a range of mission payloads. For example, in the MCM role the Inspector 125 can carry on its main deck up to two Seascan vehicles and six K-ster neutralisers at the same time. Alternatively, it can deploy a towed sonar such as ECA's own T18-M, an A18-M medium-sized autonomous underwater vehicle, or a dual-influence minesweeping system.

The Inspector 125 USV can be operated and deployed from a ship or the shore, and is also air-transportable.

As with all of ECA's autonomous robotic systems, it can be fully integrated into the UMIS system as well as the UMISOFT software suite.

Additionally, it can form part of the OCTOPODA 500 MCM mother ship toolbox, which Mauric has purpose-designed to support stand-off MCM operations using unmanned vehicles and offboard sensors.

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[*] posted on 21-2-2019 at 07:53 PM


Autonomous futures on show [IDEX19D5]

RICHARD SCOTT

21 February 2019



Al Marakeb Boats (Stand B-038), the UAE-based manufacturer of high-performance GRP and marine autonomous vessels, has been conducting live autonomous demonstrations of an unmanned surface vessel (USV) from a command and control station located on its stand at NAVDEX.

The 13m AHM13 USV has been operating from Ghantoot Naval Base, more than 70km from the NAVDEX show site. The system is being run by Al Marakeb’s patented MAP Pro technology, which comprises a series of software and component ‘building blocks’ designed to enable the conversion of existing vessels for remote and autonomous missions.

Constructed by Al Hareb Marine, system integration performed by Al Marakeb, the AHM13 USV fitted with a MAP Pro device allows for communication between the vessels systems and the C2-20 command and control station inside the NAVDEX hall. For the purposes of the live demonstration, the system is displaying engine diagnostics, route management and a live camera feed, as well as a radar display and obstacle warning alarm.

The AHM13 USV is armed with an IGG Aselsan STAMP remote weapon station, the operation of which is also enabled by the MAP Pro system.

Al Marakeb is also showing the new 11m AHM11 USV, which is being displayed with IGG Aselsan’s MILAS missile launcher system.

On Tuesday it was announced that the Defense and Security Development Fund of Tawazun Economic Council would invest in Al Marakeb Boats in return for a 30 per cent stake. Tawazun’s investment will boost the company’s growth plans by allowing it to increase production capacity and expand its presence in the region.

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[*] posted on 23-2-2019 at 12:41 PM


IDEX 2019: Saudi Arabia teams with Emirati firm on unmanned surface vehicles

Charles Forrester, Abu Dhabi - Jane's Defence Industry

22 February 2019

The United Arab Emirates company Al Seer Marine announced on 20 February that it had signed a teaming agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Advanced Electronics Company (AEC).

The agreement involves Al Seer Marine building unmanned surface vessels (USVs) for Saudi Arabia, with AEC to act as the key strategic partner in the Kingdom.

The companies did not reveal any specific platforms for the project. However, Al Seer has developed a range of USVs including: the 11 m long patrol and interdiction Tamin USV; the 11 m stealth remote-controlled or autonomous Eclipse USV; the 4.2 m Hydra survey and surveillance USV; and the Ramah optionally manned rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB).

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[*] posted on 13-4-2019 at 09:13 PM


France Joins Allied Effort to Develop Maritime Unmanned Systems

(Source: North Atlantic Treaty Organization; issued April 11, 2019)

On Thursday (11 April 2019), France joined a multinational effort to cooperate on the development of Maritime Unmanned Systems. At a signing ceremony at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, National Armament Directors from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States welcomed France to this key multinational initiative.

The project was launched in October 2018 through the signature of a letter of intent by 13 Allied Defence Ministers (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States) to support the implementation of NATOs reinforced maritime posture, as endorsed by Allied leaders at the 2018 Brussels Summit.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment Camille Grand said: Maritime unmanned systems will play a central role in future naval operations, where they will serve as a force multiplier by augmenting traditional, manned naval assets. They are expected to deliver significant benefits for detecting and clearing mines, as well as finding and tracking submarines.

Assistant Secretary General Grand added: Today, we are operating crew-dependent platforms with constrained operational awareness, but tomorrow we will increasingly use integrated autonomous systems, able to work together and complement existing manned platforms.

Through this initiative, Allies will be able to field more flexible and interoperable maritime unmanned systems. Concurrently they will be able to reduce cost by systematically exploiting economies of scale, allowing increasing defence budgets to go even further.

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[*] posted on 15-5-2019 at 11:59 AM


The Israeli Navy Deployed Its HELRAS-Equipped Seagull in a Bi National ASW Exercise

(Source: Elbit Systems Ltd.; issued May 14, 2019)

HAIFA, Israel --- In an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise conducted recently together with the Hellenic Navy, the Israeli Navy deployed its Seagull Multi-Mission Surface Vessel in an ASW configuration that included an onboard Helicopter Long-Range Active Sonar (HELRAS) dipping sonar.

A deployment in this configuration took place approximately three months after the Israeli Navy completed a Sea Acceptance Test (SAT) for a HELRAS dipping sonar that was successfully converted for operation onboard its Seagull.

The Seagulls' performance in the exercise demonstrated that operating a dipping sonar onboard such a vessel significantly increases the operational working time while substantially enhancing detection capabilities and the effectiveness of Anti-Submarine Warfare.

The Seagull autonomous multi-mission surface vessel features switchable, modular mission payload suites and can perform, in addition to ASW, Mine Countermeasure missions (MCM), Electronic Warfare (EW), Maritime Security (MS), Hydrography and other missions using the same vessel, mission control system and data links.

Seagull offers navies a true force multiplier delivering enhanced performance to naval operations, reducing risk to human life and dramatically cutting procurement and operating costs.

Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs throughout the world. The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems. The Company also focuses on the upgrading of existing platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial applications and providing a range of support services, including training and simulation systems.

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[*] posted on 16-5-2019 at 11:05 AM


IMDEX 2019: Israel Aerospace Industries to promote its Katana unmanned surface vessel

POSTED ON TUESDAY, 14 MAY 2019 18:40

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) continues to promote its Katana advanced, multi-purpose, unmanned surface vessel (USV) at IMDEX 2019. The KATANA solution provides unmanned capabilities for the entire range of Homeland Security and Naval applications. KATANA also provides manual and fully autonomous operation, along with a modular, flexible design to suit the customers requirements


Israel Aerospace Industries Katana USV Unmanned Surface Vessel (Picture source Twitter)

The Katana USV was unveiled in February 2014, during Defexpo defense exhibition in India. A model of the USV was displayed in Florida at AUVSIs Unmanned Systems show in Florida, United States, and also in 2014 during Euronaval, the International Naval Defense and Maritime Exhibition in Paris, France.

The Katana USV is intended for identification, classification, tracking and interception of ships and boats at long ranges. It can be deployed in search and rescue, intelligence gathering, protection of exclusive economic zones, homeland and harbour security, and surveillance of coastal, as well as shallow and territorial waters, fire-fighting, and public safety and security. It can also be used for surveillance and protection of oil and gas, and other critical assets.

The multifunctional Katana can be operated autonomously controlled via an advanced command and control station or manned during combat operations.

The Katana USV measures 11.9m in overall length and 2.81m in width has a platform weight of 6,500 kg. and can carry payloads up to 2,200 kg. It is powered by two maritime diesel engines, which generate an output power of 560hp each. It can reach a maximum speed of 60kt and a cruising speed of 30 kt. and has an operational range of 350nmi.

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[*] posted on 17-5-2019 at 09:20 AM



L80 USV at IMDEX Asia 2019

IMDEX 2019: Introducing Yunzhous Unmanned Solutions

China's Yunzhou Intelligence Technology Co., Ltd., is pitching two members of its family of Unmanned Surface Vessels this week at the IMDEX 2019 maritime exhibition.

Nathan Gain 15 May 2019

Unveiled in November 2018 at Air Show China, the L30 and L80 USVs have been designed by the Zhuhai-based company to perform a wide range of security and defense tasks.

The smaller L30 Security and Patrol USV has a length, width, and height of 7.5 m, 2.7 m, and 4.2 m, respectively. Its main tasks include patrolling, reconnaissance, SAR and anti-terrorism. During a recent Intelligence Security drill organized by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, the L30 USV successfully completed tasks including patrol, evidence collection and high-speed pursuit, Yunzhou Tech explains.

The L30 is powered with a pair of diesel engines that gives it maximum speed of 46 kt with an endurance of around 300 nautical miles.

China's Yunzhou Intelligence Technology Co., Ltd., is pitching two members of its family of Unmanned Surface Vessels at the IMDEX Asia 2019 maritime exhibition.


A scale model of the L30 USV (left) at IMDEX Asia 2019

The biggest L80 USV is 12.12 meters long, 3.8 m wide and 1.62 m high. It features a maximum speed of 38 kt and an endurance of 170 nautical miles with an economic speed of 26 kt. According to Yunzhou, the L80 would be mainly deployed for patrolling, reconnaissance, SAR, CBRE detection, or even anti-terrorism in shallow waters border defense.

Both L30 and L80 are made of fibre-reinforced plastic. They integrate a range of common mission systems, such as an undisclosed model of stabilized remote-controlled weapon station and Yunzhous in-house autopilot and anti-collision software. The two models are also equipped with a mast-mounted EO/IR ball turret incorporating a laser rangefinder, as well as unknown communication systems.
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[*] posted on 17-5-2019 at 11:54 AM


Far too many of these things look like toys, unsuited to real world operational needs, particularly in any sort of sea state.



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[*] posted on 18-5-2019 at 10:50 AM


IMDEX 2019: Zycraft expands Vigilant IUSV capabilities

Kelvin Wong, Singapore - Jane's International Defence Review

17 May 2019


Vigilant IUSV prototype LongRunner berthed prior to a sea trial. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

Zycraft, a Singapore-based technology company specialising in the design and manufacture of unmanned surface vessels (USVs) for commercial and government applications, is continuing to push development of its Vigilant Independent Unmanned Surface Vessel (IUSV) and plans to validate new technologies within this year.

With the hull design of the Vigilant IUSV already proven over years of extensive sea trials with a prototype named LongRunner, Zycraft President James Soon told Jane's that the company's priority is to further improve its proprietary autonomous collision avoidance system, which ensures that the craft can safely manoeuvre in congested harbours and waterways.

Zycraft has also developed the YZDDS-920 diver detection sonar (DDS), which is a compact sonar system measuring 30 cm in height and 42.5 cm in diameter that can be integrated aboard the Vigilant IUSV, other USVs and marine craft, or used as an emplaced detection unit to protect harbours or coastal facilities.

According to company specifications, the DDS is designed to detect open-circuit scuba divers at ranges of up to 600 m and divers equipped with oxygen rebreathers at up to 400 m away in all directions, up to a maximum depth of 50 m. The system comprises the 45 kg sonar head, a processing unit, and a laptop-based graphical user interface (GUI). It can track up to 100 targets and be configured to perform autonomous alerts when a threat is detected.

"We plan to integrate and test the sonar in the next few months," Soon said, noting the company plans to conduct another long-endurance trial focusing on underwater survey and surveillance in the near future. He added that sonar integration work could open up further development paths for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) technology insertions in the future.

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[*] posted on 20-5-2019 at 06:50 PM


IMDEX 2019: Singapore navy confirms 16 m-class USVs aboard future unmanned vehicle mothership

Kelvin Wong, Singapore - Jane's International Defence Review

17 May 2019


The mine detection variant of the Venus 16 unmanned surface vehicle leaving harbour for sea trials. The in-service Protector unmanned surface vehicle can be seen in the background. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) will field 16 m-class unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) on its future multi-role combat vessels (MRCVs), a senior RSN official confirmed during a media briefing on the sidelines of the IMDEX 2019 exhibition held in Singapore from 14 to 16 May.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Wong Chng Tong, commanding officer of 194 Squadron, noted that the RSN is looking into embarking the Coastal Defence-variant of the Venus 16 USV - which will be specifically configured for maritime security/force-protection operations - aboard the MRCVs. These new frigate-sized vessels replace its six upgraded but ageing Victory-class missile corvettes that entered service from 1989.

Deliveries of this new class of ships, which will essentially be modular 'motherships' for unmanned aerial, surface, and underwater vehicles, are expected to commence from 2025 with full delivery expected in 2030.

"Besides improving capabilities the new MRCVs will be custom-built for lean manning and incorporate technologies to automate certain functions," Singapore defence minister Ng Eng Hen revealed during a parliamentary speech in March. "This results in the MRCV using less manpower: about half the size found in modern frigates." This will also result in operational cost savings of up to 10%, compared with similar-sized frigates, he added.

The RSN currently operates an undisclosed number of 9 m-class Protector USVs supplied by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which were understood to have been initially acquired in 2004 to support the three-month deployment of RSS Resolution , an Endurance-class amphibious transport ship, to the Middle East Gulf. Protector USVs had also been subsequently deployed to the Gulf of Aden to augment counter-piracy operations.

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[*] posted on 20-5-2019 at 08:17 PM


US, Croatia trial USV-UUV teaming capabilities

Dr. Lee Willett, Stockholm - Jane's International Defence Review

19 May 2019

A combined US-Croatia research and development (R&D) programme is assessing the use of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to monitor and potentially alter navigational positioning of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The concept is based on using USVs to navigate a UUV to a target, such as a mine, detected by another sensor.

The programme is being developed under an international agreement between the US Department of Defense (DoD) and the Croatian Ministry of Defence (MoD) called Co-operation in Unmanned Vehicles in the Maritime Environment (CUV-ME). The US Navys Naval Information Warfare Center-Pacific (NIWC-PAC) and the University of Zagreb, Croatia, are collaborating on the work.

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[*] posted on 28-6-2019 at 11:28 AM


LIG Nex1 advances Sea Sword USV development

Dae Young Kim, Seoul - Jane's International Defence Review

26 June 2019


South Koreas LIG Nex1 is developing the Hae Gum USV to meet an expected Korean navy requirement Source: Kim Dae Young

South Korea's LIG Nex1 showcased a sea demonstration of its prototype Hae Gum (Sea Sword) unmanned surface vessel (USV) to the public for the first time at Changwon Marine Defense Exhibition 2019 held in Changwon city from 20-22 June.
The Sea Sword USV adopts a high-speed monohull design - constructed from fibre-reinforced plastic - and measures 8 m long and displaces approximate 3 tonnes. The sea vehicle is equipped with a diesel engine and a waterjet propulsion system that enables it to achieve a stated maximum speed of 40 kt.

According to LIG Nex1, the Sea Sword has an operational endurance of up to eight hours at 15 kt and has a control radius of up to 12 km. It is also designed to operate in sea state 4 conditions.

Typical mission equipment includes an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) system with a detection range of up to 6 km in daylight and 3 km at night time. It is also equipped with an on-board radar with a range of up to 5 km, a communications module, and a modular electronic architecture that supports the integration of a range of mission payloads.

An indigenously developed autonomous navigation system enables the UAV to conduct independent surveillance and reconnaissance missions according to a pre-programmed route, with the ability to perform automatic collision avoidance to evade maritime obstacles.

Its key missions include surveillance and reconnaissance in high-risk areas and tracking of suspicious surface contacts such as illegal fishing vessels.

The Sea Sword features a modular payload bay that enables it to carry weapons for armed interventions. Possible armaments include a Hanwha Defense remote controlled weapon station armed with a K6 12.7 mm heavy machine gun with an indigenous fire control system, as well as LIG Nex1's fire-and-forget Hyeongung (Raybolt) anti-tank guided missiles, which can engage surface targets out to a range of 3 km.

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[*] posted on 26-7-2019 at 11:57 PM



Image via BAE.
BAE trials first of its kind autonomous boat

By George Allison - July 25, 201925



BAE Systems say it has successfully completed a series of trials on a first of its kind autonomous boat.

The firm say that the boat will allow navies to go beyond the limits of human endurance with unmanned vessels that can travel further, for longer and to more inhospitable environments.

The autonomous Pacific 950 Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) demonstrator was used to develop and prove technologies which have the potential to make naval missions faster, easier and safer, taking the relationship between human and machine to new territories, say BAE.

Developed alongside industry experts from L3Harris and MSI Defence Systems, the P950 is equipped with automated navigational decision-making technologies, freeing up operators to focus on mission critical information from afar.

To enhance the capability of existing warships, the technology has been designed to be retrofitted to existing RIBs, such as BAE Systems Pacific 24, which is currently in service with the Royal Navy across its surface fleet.

The vessel can operate for up to 10 days at patrol speed or 300 nautical miles in pursuit mode, reaching speeds of up to 45 knots, whilst either being remote controlled or on a semi-autonomous mission. Trials conducted by BAE Systems have shown how the technology provides the ability to undertake complex, multi-phase missions and support advanced dynamic tasking, whilst providing enhanced situational awareness to support faster and more effective decision-making by naval operators.

It has potential applications across a range of missions, including anti-piracy operations, border control, persistent intelligence gathering, maritime security and force protection.

The use of autonomous vessels in high-risk areas would allow operations to be conducted without endangering sailors.

Mike Woods, Chief Technologist for BAE Systems Maritime Services business, said:

This technology represents a huge step forward in the interaction between human and machine, combining sophisticated autonomous technology with human capabilities to overcome many of the challenges faced in difficult conditions at sea.

The boat keeps sailors out of harms way whilst allowing them to respond to the increasingly varied, often unpredictable scenarios they face every day, and aids faster decision making in complex and ambiguous situations.
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[*] posted on 27-7-2019 at 12:04 AM


25 July 2019 News

BAE Systems concludes trials on P950 RIB autonomous boat


BAE Systems P950 RIB can operate for up to ten days at patrol speed. Credit: BAE Systems.

BAE Systems has concluded initial tests on an unmanned boat technology that reportedly has the potential to revolutionise naval missions.

The company has stated that the first of its kind autonomous vessel will be able to travel further, for longer and to more inhospitable environments.

Completion of trials of the companys unmanned Pacific 950 (P950) Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) demonstrator has improved the readiness of the technology, BAE Systems stated.

BAE Systems developed the demonstrator in collaboration with industry experts from L3Harris and MSI Defence Systems.

The presence of automated navigational decision-making technologies in the unmanned boat will allow operators to focus their efforts on mission-critical information.

The autonomous technology can be retrofitted to existing RIBs such as the Royal Navy BAE Systems-built Pacific 24 to increase the capability of warships.

According to the company, the P950 is designed to operate for up to ten days at patrol speed or 300nm in pursuit mode at a maximum speed of up to 45k.

The boat can achieve this in remote-controlled or semi-autonomous mission.

BAE Systems Maritime Services business chief technologist Mike Woods said: This technology represents a huge step forward in the interaction between human and machine, combining sophisticated autonomous technology with human capabilities to overcome many of the challenges faced in difficult conditions at sea.

The boat keeps sailors out of harms way whilst allowing them to respond to the increasingly varied, often unpredictable scenarios they face every day, and aids faster decision making in complex and ambiguous situations.

The P950 RIB is armed with a weapons system, developed by MSI Defence Systems with BAE Systems, and an array of sensors.

The company introduced the technology on an experimental basis in 2015. The autonomous boat technology was previously trialled during the Royal Navys Unmanned Warrior exercise off the coasts of Scotland and West Wales in 2016.

Over the coming months, BAE Systems will focus on testing the capability of the technology to allow for integration with existing naval combat management systems.

The P950 is set to showcase its capabilities during Nato Exercise REPMUS to be conducted in Portugal later this year.

Woods added: For the past four years we have been working in collaboration to develop this first of its kind technology. We are proud to have matured autonomous maritime technology significantly, positioning the UK as a forward thinker in this unique space and providing a crucial advantage where it counts.
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[*] posted on 3-8-2019 at 10:07 PM


JUST IN: ANTX Technology Exercises Attracting New Industry Participants

8/1/2019

By Jon Harper

The Navy and Marine Corps latest advanced naval technology exercises have drawn in additional industry players to assist in the services quest to acquire new capabilities faster, according to defense officials.

The events, known as ANTX, take place annually and bring together industry, academia as well as military officials in the requirements, acquisition and user communities. The most recent iteration, held at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, July 9-19, featured 53 technologies with a particular focus on command and control, communications, force protection, unmanned systems and logistics. More than 1,900 technology assessments were completed, said Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Hondo Geurts.

Anybody that brought equipment there got assessments from many of the folks who were there and they can use that [feedback] to modify their product or improve their product, he told reporters Aug. 1 during a media roundtable at the Pentagon. We got exposure to cutting-edge stuff that we may not have known we had a requirement for until we saw it.

The event at Camp Lejeune followed on the heels of an ANTX that took place on the West Coast in April at Camp Pendleton, California.

Navy and Marine Corps officials are looking for technologies that will assist the services in conducting distributed, forward operations in denied environments, said Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, assistant deputy commandant for combat development and integration.

When we start looking at what that future fight looks like and those things we need to enable it, this [ANTX] venue has really become a great way to start ferreting out some of those technologies that will enable our Marines and sailors, he said.

Geurts noted that the capabilities brought to ANTX are evaluated by warfighters who would actually use the technology in the field to see how well they work.

The events are also a good opportunity for smaller companies to show off their products at little cost to them, officials noted.

Some of these folks theyve got a shoestring budget [and are working] in their garage, but they have a really good idea that hasn't been thought of yet, Wise said.

To find companies to participate in ANTX, the Navy is issuing broad agency announcements.

We kind of say, Here's the kind of theme we're going to go after, or here's the kind of things we're interested in, and we've got multiple of these events coming. And then we just ask for some information, Geurts said.

The BAA responses arent expected to be a 500-page proposal with glossy things, Geurts noted. The goal is to reduce the barrier to bring ideas forward.

The evaluation team looks at the responses and determines if the technology is applicable for a particular ANTX event before deciding which teams to invite, Geurts explained.

Wise said recent ANTX events have seen a fairly even mix between larger companies and smaller firms participating. A number of them could be qualified as startups, he noted.

As an example, there was a small company at the April exercise at Camp Pendleton, he said. It was kind of a garage startup. They were working with some [unmanned underwater vehicle] capability but they really didn't know what the application might be. They just saw the event and actually came in to talk to some of our folks. And some of our folks quickly said, You know, there's a hydrographic piece of this that's actually something that we need to get you to develop. So [winning business at these exercises] does happen for really small companies.

New players are also being brought into the fold. Only about 39 percent of the participants at the most recent ANTX had participated in a previous exercise, Geurts noted.

Autonomy and unmanned systems have been a key feature at this years events, the officials noted. They included: an expeditionary warfare unmanned surface vessel with a force protection payload; unmanned aerial systems for fast, on-demand delivery of supplies over long ranges; and an expeditionary, commercially available two-man portable UUV for littoral operations and autonomous reconnaissance.

Smaller UAS with vertical-landing capability performed well in windy conditions, Wise noted.

I won't go into a lot of specifics, but some of the seaborne platforms and the autonomous capability with weapon systems included, were fairly impressive at what they could do, he said.

Geurts said: Now you're seeing combinations of autonomous systems. What was remarkable to me was seeing autonomy in all those different operating environments starting to play together. And we can start to piece together operating concepts that may be closer to [being feasible for] us than we had originally conceived.

Wise noted that capabilities that enable communications in contested environments and can be matured over time, are high on the sea services wish list.

We saw a fair amount of that" from vendors at ANTX, he said.

Technologies that reduce the logistics burden are also in demand, he noted. One example from ANTX is the Mangrove, a vehicle that uses onboard water generating capabilities.

Geurts noted that the services arent looking for pie in the sky technologies that will take decades to develop and field. The aim is to get them through the acquisition pipeline faster, sometimes in as little as 12 to 18 months, by utilizing cooperative research-and-development agreements, consortium contracts, small business innovation research contracts and other transaction authority agreements.

We're using some of these new acquisition tools, Geurts said. Our real goal is if there's things that have demonstrated value in the field with, you know, some minimal amounts of development, that we can be able to turn those around and put contracts in place and get them in limited prototype quantities to the Navy or the Marine units.
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[*] posted on 27-8-2019 at 06:26 PM


The Robot Ship Set to Cross the Atlantic and Change the World

David Axe 6 hrs ago


Provided by The Daily Beast via SEA-KIT

The blocky, 36-foot-long (11-metre-long), yellow- and white-striped vessel bobbing off the coast of the United Kingdom sure doesnt look like much. But Maxlimer just might be the most important ship in the world right now.

Maxlimer is totally robotic. And its poised to be the first unmanned surface vessel, or USV, to cross the Atlantic. The journey could prove the case for a host of new oceangoing drones: crewless cargo ships; unmanned oil tankers; robotic work boats.

But dont hold your breath. Widespread adoption could take years or even decades.

Maxlimer is a product of SEA-KIT, a maritime tech company based in southeast England. Eyeing potentially lucrative contracts supporting offshore oil and gas drilling, SEA-KIT aimed to produce a flexible ship thats cheaper and safer than manned ships are.

With no need to support a human crew, a robotic support ship could devote more space to equipment, including a flotilla of smaller drone boats and submarines that it can launch and retrieve. Since it doesnt get hungry, tired, or sick, it could sail at a leisurely eight miles (13 kilometres) per hour until it runs out of fuel, potentially nine months at a stretch.

Maxlimer is almost like a utility pickup vehicle of the sea, SEA-KIT managing director Ben Simpson said. Its robust, its adaptable, its got a huge range. It can carry 2 1/2 tons of cargo.

And its cheap. SEA-KIT vessels use less than five percent of the fuel required to operate a standard ocean-going vessel, Neil Tinmouth, SEA-KITs chief operating officer, told The Daily Beast. This is a game-changer when it comes to the carbon footprint and environmental impact of these operations.

Starting in 2016, SEA-KIT worked with a U.K. shipbuilder to produce Maxlimers aluminum hull. A Norwegian defence firm provided the electronics for remote control. In the crowded waters of a port, a human operator remotely steers Maxlimer via radio. On the open ocean, it autonomously follows GPS signals.

Maxlimer launched in 2017 and spent a couple of years in testing. The results were encouraging. In May 2019 the Maxlimer team snagged the Shell Ocean Discovery X-Prize, a $US7 million ($AU10 million) award for the best ocean-mapping technology.

That same month, Maxlimer made a quick cargo run between Britain and Belgium, hauling oysters and beer. This fall, the robot ship sailed to Norway for what Tinmouth described as the first completely unmanned offshore commercial pipeline inspection using onboard sensors and a small drone submarine.

The numerous missions allowed our shore-based crew to operate and test the vessel offshore in various scenarios and sea-states, both day and night, Tinmouth told The Daily Beast.

Next up: the vaunted Atlantic crossing. Tinmouth said the month-long journey is on schedule for the first half of 2020.

Assuming Maxlimer successfully completes the trip, SEA-KIT hopes to begin expanding the technology. We have already designed and are looking to develop a larger USV with additional capabilities.

In the short term, SEA-KITs focus is on the energy market: conducting ocean surveys, supporting oil and gas rigs and wind turbines, inspecting pipelines. But autonomous ships have other potential uses.

The U.S. Navy and several other leading naval fleets are beginning to experiment with unmanned warships. And the wider shipping industryhundreds of companies operating thousands of ships hauling most of the worlds commerceslowly is coming around to the idea of increasingly autonomous ships.

Advances in technology and automation could benefit the maritime industry as it has benefited other modes by making things safer, more efficient and/or more environmentally friendly, a spokesperson for the U.S. Maritime Administration, or MARADthe regulatory body overseeing the U.S. shipping industrytold The Daily Beast.

But in coming years that probably will mean partial autonomy. That is ships with more automatic systems and fewer people aboard. MARAD does not see a leap to full autonomy any time soon, the administration said.

But there is at least one job MARAD would like totally to turn over to robots: oil-spill cleanup. A maritime spill area can be a hazardous environment for people, MARAD explained. There could be the potential for fire/explosions, and a human operating a vessel in a spill area might be exposed to hazardous chemicals by inhaling toxic fumes. Removing the human from the hazardous environment and having him/her operate the vessel remotely could be much safer.

To that end, MARAD has partnered with SEA-KIT to develop a robotic oil-cleanup vessel. But it and any other partially or fully autonomous ships must work really, really well for MARAD to give them the regulatory thumbs-up.

No extra accidents at sea. No preventable ship collisions in port.

Robot ships must result in fewer injuries, not more, in the accident-prone shipping industry. Every advance towards autonomy must increase safety, otherwise MARAD will not be in favour of it, the administration stated.

Its a high bar to clear and SEA-KIT knows it. Regulation is a major hurdle, Tinmouth told The Daily Beast.

Its possible, even likely, that by mid-2020 an unmanned ship will cross the Atlantic. But it could be years until many other robot vessels join it.

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[*] posted on 28-8-2019 at 09:15 AM


Chinas CSIC expands unmanned surface warfare portfolio with JARI USV

Kelvin Wong, Singapore - Jane's Defence Weekly

27 August 2019


A JARI USV technology demonstrator was displayed at the Airshow China 2018 defence exhibition in Zhuhai. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

The state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) revealed in a 21 August announcement on its official WeChat social media account that its 716 Research Institute - also known as the Jiangsu Automation Research Institute (JARI) - has launched a new catamaran-hulled multirole unmanned surface vessel (USV).

A full-scale, production-ready example of the USV was recently shown docked at an undisclosed facility. Developed by JARI and CSIC's 702 Research Institute - China Ship Scientific Research Centre (CSRRC) - the platform has been marketed as the JARI Multipurpose Unmanned Combat Boat at domestic and international defence exhibitions for several years.

Both research institutes are based in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu with JARI located in the north-eastern Lianyugang city, while CSSRC is positioned in the southern city of Wuxi.

CSIC has already conducted what it claims to be extensive laboratory and at-sea trials of the JARI USV design and its associated equipment and software prior to the latest launch event. It had previously showcased a technology demonstrator at the Airshow China 2018 exhibition in Zhuhai.

According to company specifications, the JARI USV displaces approximately 20 tonnes, is 15 m long, 4.8 m wide, and has a 1.8 m draft. A waterjet propulsion system enables it to achieve a claimed sprint speed and maximum operating range of 42 kt and 500 n miles, respectively.

The JARI USV is envisioned to carry a range of weapons, including a foredeck-mounted remote weapon station armed with a 30 mm cannon and podded laser-guided rockets, a pair of four-cell vertical launch systems (VLSs) for small surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) mounted amidships, as well as a 324 mm torpedo launcher - for ordnance such as the Yu-7/ET-52 lightweight torpedo - on the port and starboard sides of its deck.
Ancillary equipment seen in official imagery also includes a mast-mounted electro-optical/infrared turret, navigation radar, steerable searchlight, and communications antennas.

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[*] posted on 29-8-2019 at 09:52 AM


UAE Autonomy Experts, Marakeb Technologies, Deliver the Unmanned Drive Behind 16ft Specialized Vessel

(Source: Marakeb Technologies; issued Aug. 27, 2019)

DUBAI, UAE --- Emirati company Marakeb Technologies proves convenience and ease of integration of its autonomous conversion kit while embarking on an Unmanned Surface Vessel project for global offshore solutions provider, Unique Group.

The project involves equipping a 16ft work vessel to operate autonomously using Marakebs patented device, the MAP Pro.

Not to be confused with remote control, which involves live steering of a boat from a distance, autonomous operations involve programming routes and instructions for the vessel to navigate a certain scenario on its own, including a path layout, programmable speeds, obstacle warnings, failsafe protocols and live data relay from all sensors on the vessel back to a ground control station.

Chief of Engineering for Marakeb, Bud Peppe, explains Unique Groups Uni-Cat, equipped with the MAP Pro Autonomy System, allows for autonomous hydrographic survey operations utilizing various payloads suitable for search and recovery, oceanography and monitoring as well as inspection surveys.

Providing autonomous services and technologies to companies such as Unique Group are exactly why we developed the MAP Pro. Whether the client has a vessel currently in their inventory or wants to design their own purpose-built USV, the MAP Pro Systems ease of installation, integration and configuration make it ideal for implementing into a customers platform at any time during the project timeline.

The vessel and system are a kit-of-parts that are easy to disassemble and transport for reassembly and operation in different locations around the GCC. Furthermore, the long-lasting battery capacity along with its autonomous capabilities allow for uninterrupted work shifts resulting in efficient and low-cost operations.

Venkatesh Rao, Regional Vice President for the Middle East at Unique Group comments, Our extensive global experience over the past 25 years as an integrated offshore & subsea solutions provider, has uniquely positioned us to deliver products and solutions in line with customer expectations. The ease of mobility is a major highlight of our USV Uni-Cat - the 16-foot Cataraft platform is designed to provide convenient operability in areas which are difficult to access otherwise. The ability to customize the payload by mounting different sonars & ancillary sensors as required is definitely of key interest for our customers."

He also adds This is certainly a turning point for us as were looking to venture further into the development of customized autonomous vehicles over the years ahead."

Marakeb Technologies LLC was established in 2007 as a GRP boat manufacturer. Marakeb has since produced a fleet of USVs and specialized boats for defence, surveillance and firefighting applications with the UAE, GCC and well as Australia, where they eventually set up office to handle a growing number of South-East Asian projects.

Today, Marakeb has shifted its primary focus from GRP Boats to manufacturing a line of marine electronics that range from commercial autopilots to advanced autonomous devices for defense applications, and has broadened its capabilities beyond the marine world to cater to land and air vehicles.

-ends-
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