The German Naval Technical Centre has procured an Atlas remote combined influence minesweeping system (ARCIMS) multi-role unmanned surface vessel (USV) from Atlas Elektronik UK, a joint company of ThyssenKrupp and Airbus DS.
According to a source, the procurement follows successful delivery of a contract awarded last year by the UK Ministry of Defense for an autonomous minesweeping capability to the Royal Navy.
The ARCIMS, which is an unmanned mine counter measures (MCM) solution, features an 11m USV platform which can be ferried on road, ship and air, facilitating rapid deployment during an operation.
It can be operated both on-shore and offshore from a surface ship and hosted on a MCM vessel.
The platform can be deployed to function individually, as well as being integrated into the ATLAS integrated mine counter measures system (IMCMS).
It is propelled with twin engines, water jets or propellers, and can cruise at speeds up to 40k.
The cathedral hull incorporated into the vessel allows stable manoeuvrability of the USV when the vessel operates at a high-speed.
ARCIMS employs an 'in-theatre' proven technology to counter a wide range of mines.
The USV can be deployed in the form of reconfigurable mission modules to provide a range of services, including MCM and Hydrographic operations, ASW, maritime security and force protection.
WTD71, the Bundeswehr Technical Centre for Ships and Naval Weapons will cater to the German Navy's requirement to test the functionality of unmanned MCM systems.
The agency will undertake tests to assure the development and evaluation of such equipment from pre-phase to service use.
Atlas Elektronik vice-president of sales Mario Pohl was quoted by Navaltoday as saying: "The whole Atlas Group welcome the opportunity to support WTD71 with their future developments, and look forward to further collaboration within forthcoming European projects."
Image: HMS Chiddingfold incorporated with MCM systems. Photo: courtesy of Brian Burnell.