Autonomous End-to-End MCM Mission in Sea States 5-6
In early June, Elbit Systems participated in the unmanned maritime systems trials organised by the Belgian Ministry of Defence, demonstrating the capabilities of its SEAGULL USV. The company displayed the system’s rapid mission-ready capabilities in an unfamiliar setup, installing a mobile C2 unit onboard a Belgian POLLUX patrol boat and completing all associated tasks in just a few hours.
During the trials, in which the Netherlands also participated, SEAGULL demonstrated mince countermeasures (MCM) mission execution, scanning the whole water column in one path, operating both the K5900 Side Scan Sonar and the R2Sonic Forward Looking Sonar for search, detection and classification. On the second day the same SEAGULL platform, operating a VideoRay Remotely Operated Vehicle, conducted the identification and demolition phase of the mine hunting mission.
The SEAGULL team included three operators, two remotely managing the mission and the third monitoring the autonomous cruise. Operating on Elbit Systems’ proprietary software, which includes modules for change detection and automatic target detection, SEAGULL performed real-time detections, mapping and classification of ‘Mine Like Objects.’ Its operational capabilities were on full display when it cruised at a speed of 10kt in sea states 5 and6, scanning three different areas, three times the size scanned by autonomous underwater vessels, showing a clear advantage in processing imagery and generating actionable data in real-time and issuing an on the spot report.
The 12m USV can be operated from a mother-ship or a shore station and provides multi-mission capabilities including anti-submarine warfare (ASW), MCM, electronic warfare, maritime security and underwater commercial missions, leveraging modular mission system installation and offering a high level of autonomy. It features inherent C4I capabilities for enhanced situational awareness and mission endurance of more than four days.
“The bi-national trials that were conducted by the Belgian Navy clearly demonstrated the unmatched operational capabilities of the SEAGULL. We see a growing interest in the novel capabilities that the SEAGULL provides for executing top quality and cost effective MCM, ASW and commercial underwater missions,” Yaron Levy, VP of Naval Systems for Elbit Systems’ ISTAR Division, commented.