Klein Marine Systems, a subsidiary of Mitcham Industries, has partnered with Elbit Systems to conduct structured mine countermeasure (MCM) exercises in the Mediterranean Sea.
For the exercise, Klein's 5900 mine hunting side scan sonar was incorporated on-board Elbit's Seagull unmanned surface vessel (USV) to track and classify all detectable moored and bottom mine-like objects (MLO) in less time.
The dynamically focused, multi-beam, side scan sonar, engaged to generate high-resolution imagery of small objects with 100% bottom coverage while operating at a speed of up to 14k.
The system features signal processing techniques, motion compensation and superior acoustic design to facilitate consistent high-resolution, motion tolerant imagery performance.
It is also fitted with features including the remote control software, swath bathymetry and a nadir gap filler capability.
The trials were conducted at various depths up to 85m, where the 5900 sonar scanned the expanse at a speed of 8k-9k, and exhibited a high performance and high area coverage rate.
The equipment, following the exercise, is said to have emerged as a sub-sea survey asset, as well as an MCM sonar.
Elbit's 12m Seagull USV features a modular design with replaceable mission modules.
Two Seagull USVs can be operated in tandem by leveraging a single mission control system (MCS), from manned ships or ashore.
The system facilitates an unmanned end-to-end mine hunting operation and issues mission planning, and on-line operation in known and unknown areas, including area survey, search, detection, classification, identification, neutralisation and verification.
It can search the entire water volume, and launch and operate underwater vehicles to identify and neutralise mines.