UK underwater vehicle manufacturer Saab Seaeye has received an order from the Defence Material Organisation (DMO), within the Ministry of Defence of the Netherlands for deliveries of its Sea Wasp underwater vehicle system for the Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine). This small and flexible underwater robot is suitable for a wide range of underwater operations. The order also covers some development, including the integration of the customer-specified Blueview sonar in the vehicle and HMI. The Sea Wasp systems to be delivered will be used by the Dutch Navy.
The Sea Wasp ROV is based on the Saab Seaeye range of commercial ROVs. The modular design allows the vessel to be configured to meet mission-specific needs. With a base weight of only 75 kg, Sea Wasp is a small and flexible ROV which can be used for a wide range of underwater operations, both within the commercial and military sectors. Sea Wasp can, for example, be used for sea mine detection and other reconnaissance operations. The complete system is made up of a vehicle, generator, pilot station, hand winch and a power supply unit. The vehicle measures 1.7m-long, 0.5m-wide and 0.4m-high and weighs approximately 90kg.
The ROV is attached with an ECA electrical five-function manipulator arm, which allows it to use a range of tools and methods to dispose of IEDs and explosives. The arm with an attached camera is capable of positioning a disruptor near the target for detonation. The disruptor is then fired from the surface to neutralise the target, once the ROV is back to the launch platform. Saab Seaeye worked with the U.S. Underwater Hazardous Device Response Community to adapt the ROV for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) purposes and procedures. Saab has partnered with the U.S. Navy EOD Group 2, the FBI Counter-IED Unit, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s Counter-Terrorist Operations Maritime Response Unit.