Rolls-Royce has been awarded a contract to lead a project to develop new technologies for Canada to support its unmanned naval vehicle missions, including the unmanned surface vehicles (USVS) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVS).
Under the C$3m contract, funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the company will develop automated systems to support the unmanned naval vehicle missions, which include mine-countermeasures, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, coastal security patrols and environmental data collection.
Rolls-Royce Naval Marine president Jay McFadyen said: "This research programme will enable us to develop sophisticated systems with significant market potential, and firmly establish this region of Canada as a centre of excellence for these cutting edge technologies."
In addition to designing refuelling systems for unmanned craft to remain at sea for longer periods, the company will develop handling equipment that can remotely deploy underwater sensors from the craft.
Rolls-Royce Naval Marine Advanced Programs director Dennis Duke added: "The technologies resulting from this project will fill a technology gap and provide naval operators with the ability to deploy unmanned vehicles to conduct a variety of missions without putting sailors in harm’s way."
"In addition, the refuelling system will eliminate the requirement to bring the unmanned vehicle back onboard the ship so it can return to its mission with minimal turnaround."
Through this contract, Rolls-Royce will provide handling systems capability to enable the USVs and UUVs to be launched, refuelled and recovered from the sea.
Rolls-Royce is planning to develop sensor handling and stowage systems for USVs and UUV, which was originally developed for naval vessels, to enable rapid reconfiguration for various missions.