Northrop Grumman and Atlas Elektronik Demonstrate Unmanned Mine-Hunting
During sea trials hosted by the Belgian Navy, Northrop Grumman and Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK) have demonstrated the high area coverage rates achieved by integrating the former’s AQS-24B mine hunting system with the latter’s ATLAS Remote Combined Influence Minesweeping System (ARCIMS) unmanned surface vessel (USV).
The exercise not only demonstrated the modularity and ease of integration of the AQS-24B payload, but also the importance of the laser line scan sensor which serves as a gap filler for the high speed synthetic aperture sonar. ARCIMS has proven to be an extremely stable platform, ideally suited for towing the high-speed AQS-24B in rough seas and is one of the most successful maritime autonomous mission systems currently in-service. The most recent demonstration follows on from a showcasing of capabilities during the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior exercise last October.
“This exercise further demonstrates that Northrop Grumman’s unmanned surface vessel MCM capabilities are well advanced,” Andrew Tyler, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman Europe, commented. “Our collaborative approach is helping to position us to serve a leading role in the emerging underwater sensing and networking environment.”
“AEUK and Northrop Grumman are leading the way in demonstrating a capability that is real, mature and tested in relevant operational environments in the North Atlantic at the Royal Navy’s Unmanned Warrior and now in the North Sea at the Belgian Navy’s Zeebrugge sea areas,” John Sutcliffe, Director Business Development at AEUK, explained.