Meet Seagull, Israel’s new USV robot boat
Elbit Systems has a new 40-foot unmanned surface vehicle, the Seagull, which is designed to operate in pairs for either mine sweeping or sub busting. The idea is the first vehicle will have surveillance gear to find the sub or mine, while the second will carry either clearance gear (an ROV) or a anti-submarine torpedo to shove right up the sneaky U-boat’s kisser.
From Elbit’s presser:
Drawing on world class know -how derived from generations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) design, development and operation and its naval capabilities, Elbit Systems’ newest offering in the unmanned platform field is Seagull -an organic, modular, highly autonomous, multi-mission Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) system.
Seagull is a 12-meter USV with replaceable mission modules, with two vessels capable of being operated and controlled in concert using a single Mission Control System (MCS), from manned ships or from the shore.
The system provides unmanned end-to-end mine hunting operation taking the man out of the mine field. It provides mission planning, and on-line operation in known and unknown areas,including area survey, search, detection, classification, identification, neutralization and verification. It is equipped to search the entire water volume and operate underwater vehicles to identify and neutralize mines.
The idea is the two-boat pair can operate within 50-100 miles of the control station and remain at sea for 96 hours, covering a pretty large swath of littoral in the process while their operators sip coffee back in a trailer somewhere. A second set of boats can be kept ready to rotate out the first, making a persistent sea station a very possible endeavor.
This obviously has uses in a MIUWU or PSU augmentation or replacement.
Speaking of which, DARPA’s Sea Hunter–the Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel, or ACTUV is the U.S.’s version of this, and is mucho larger at some 132-feet long and is getting some love on social media as of late.