LONDON --- Elbit Systems UK completed a series of Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) trials with the UK MoD. The trials were delivered via Dstl’s (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) Progeny Framework, exploring how autonomous systems could support future ASW operations.
Elbit Systems UK was one of a shortlist of UK companies selected to take part in this second phase of the project – a series of live at sea trials which took place off UK coast with the Ministry of Defence in late October 2019.
Elbit Systems UK used its Seagull USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle) for these trials, with the USA’s L3 Harris providing the sonar. Seagull, Elbit System’s multi-mission, multi-sensor USV demonstrated her autonomous ASW utility to the UK MoD, across the entire trials period, utilising her ‘ASW Toolbox’ solution throughout to show how the abilities of this system to offer a force multiplier for ASW operations.
Martin Fausset, CEO of Elbit Systems UK, said: “Elbit Systems has world leading technology to offer to the maritime and littoral environment. The Seagull USV has once again, demonstrated its superior capabilities underlining Elbit Systems UK’s competitive position to providing innovative and cost-effective solutions to the UK Armed Forces. We are proud of our ongoing work with the Royal Navy as we work together to maintain its operational advantage.”
The Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) has multi-mission capability, being able to perform Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Mine Counter Measures (MCM), Electronic Warfare (EW), Maritime Security (MS), Hydrography and other missions using the same vessels, mission control system and data links.
Meanwhile its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability provides the navy with a tactical advantage by deterring and threatening enemy submarines using an available asset with significantly lower risk. Seagull’s Mine Counter Measures (MCM) capability facilitates end-to-end mine hunting operations including detection, classification, localisation, identification and neutralisation of bottom, moored and drifting sea mines.
The Seagull is deployable with capability to operate from port or mother-ship, with two vessels able to be controlled from the same MCS (Mission Control System) and both manned and unmanned modes of operation, the latter featuring a high level of autonomy.
Seagull offers endurance of 4 days and mission sea-keeping of up to Sea-State 5.
Seagull has previously participated in bi-national MCM trials in the North Sea off the Belgian Coast organised by the Directorate General of Material Resources (DGMR) of the Belgian Defence Ministry, and has been used in a series of demonstrations alongside several global navies, including being deployed in 2018 by NATO forces in a joint ASW exercise alongside the Royal Navy’s Type 45 HMS Duncan and the Spanish Navy’s Santa Maria-class frigate “Victoria”.
The Progeny Maritime Research Framework was launched by Dstl to create a community of science and technology suppliers to support current and future maritime research projects. The Progeny Maritime Research Framework is worth up to £200 million over 8 years and it is anticipated that requirements will be delivered by industry, including small and medium sized enterprises, and academia.
The Progeny Maritime Research Framework is supporting science and technology research for current in-service capability and the next generation of maritime technology. Examples of research areas it is addressing include unmanned systems, future submarine platforms and underwater communications and networking.
Elbit Systems UK Ltd (ESUK) holds four wholly-owned subsidiaries as well as two joint ventures. In total, over 500 personnel are employed by the ESUK companies in the UK, in high tech roles in the defence, aerospace and rail sectors. The two joint ventures were formed in order to deliver the Watchkeeper programme for the British Army and to supply and support three fleets of aircraft within the UK MOD Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) programme.
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) delivers high-impact science and technology (S & T) for the UK’s defence, security and prosperity. Dstl is an Executive Agency of the MOD with around 4,000 staff working across four sites; Porton Down, near Salisbury, Portsdown West, near Portsmouth, Fort Halstead, near Sevenoaks, and Alverstoke, near Gosport.