Nato research vessel

A collaborative anti-submarine warfare (ASW) scientific experiment involving Nato nations has started in the Ligurian Sea.

As part of the experiment, which aims to advance the autonomous ASW network, Nato’s Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) is testing the next-generation anti-submarine maritime autonomous system on research vessels.

The test, dubbed ‘COLLaborative ASW Behaviours-Next Generation Autonomous Systems 2014’ (COLLAB-NGAS14), includes two research vessels from the Nato CMRE, the Nato research vessel Alliance and the coastal research vessel Leonardo, in addition to an Italian submarine.

Scientists from CMRE have been assessing technologies and software built by partner research bodies in Nato nations. These are aimed at examining, detecting and tracking objects in the marine environment.

The experiment involves an autonomous collaborative ASW network, comprising autonomous underwater and surface vehicles (AUVs and ASVs)

Ocean Explorer AUV will carry out detections and the wave-power operated unmanned surface vehicle Wave Glider will act as a communications gateway.

"The COLLAB-NGAS14 experiment is being carried out on the Nato research vessel Alliance."

The COLLAB-NGAS14 experiment is being carried out on the Nato research vessel Alliance, while the Centre’s 29m coastal research vessel Leonardo is supporting the experiment.

The NGAS partners make use of deployable bottom nodes to explore autonomous detection and tracking.

In addition to testing advanced ASW systems against a realistic target, the latest experiment will also demonstrate the applications of new advances in research and technology, including AUVs and bottom sensors.

The CMRE joined the Italian Navy in national experimentation during GLINT-NGAS11 and COLLAB13, and also took part in two Nato Proud Manta ASW drills and in the latest national experimentation with the Portuguese Navy.

The experiment involves members of the next-generation autonomous systems joint research project from Italy, Norway, Canada, Germany, the US, and the UK.

Image: Nato’s research vessel Alliance and Italian submarine during the experiment. Photo: courtesy of the CMRE.

Defence Technology