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”.