Israel-based company Elbit Systems’ ISTAR division and Italian firm Leonardo have partnered to develop an additional torpedo capability for the Seagull unmanned surface vessel (USV).
The agreement was reached by the companies at the recent Exponaval event.
Under the agreement, the companies will develop the capability using the same architecture used in airborne torpedo launching systems.
The additional capability will enable the Elbit Systems’ multi-mission Seagull USV to demonstrate the launch of Leonardo’s lightweight and mini torpedoes.
Leonardo has experience in the design, production and integration of this type of weapon system. The company’s range of torpedoes has been deployed by more than 30 countries.
Elbit Systems’ Seagull solution is a 12m-long USV that has been designed for operation either from a mothership or on-shore stations.
With a mission endurance of more than four days, Seagull is designed to scan the stretch of water surrounding a vessel, as well as operate underwater vehicles to track and destroy mines.
The unmanned system provides the user with a wide range of multi-mission capabilities such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW), mine-hunting and minesweeping (MCM) and electronic warfare (EW), in addition to maritime security and underwater commercial missions.
Currently operational with the Israeli Navy, it is equipped with command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) capabilities.
In June 2016, Seagull completed the first torpedo launch test and demonstrated the capability to install and launch lightweight torpedoes.
In September 2017, the company performed a live demonstration of a remotely operated ASW mission using its Seagull USV.
In addition, Seagull participated in the Belgian North Sea MCM Trials and carried out an autonomous end-to-end unmanned mission in sea states 5 and 6 to demonstrate real-time mine-hunting capabilities.