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The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has granted a licence to ASV Global to use its advanced unmanned surface vehicle (USV) capability technology.

The licence agreement has been signed through Ploughshare Innovations, which is the technology transfer arm of the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

ASV Global will now be able to expand the use of this technology across its current product portfolio, which offers autonomous surface vehicles that are suitable for both military and commercial use.

"Working with Dstl has enabled ASV Global to design and test advanced autonomous capabilities."

The agreement is a part of Dstl’s Advanced USV Capability Project, under which an autonomous navigation system has been developed to enable USVs to operate safely at both high and low speeds.

Developed under research funding from Dstl by ASV, the UK’s maritime autonomy surface testbed (MAST) is a USV designed to operate autonomously in an unmanned mode, sensing other vessels in the immediate vicinity and avoiding them in a safe manner.

The project is expected to be completed next year.

ASV Global managing director Dan Hook said: “Working with Dstl has enabled ASV Global to design and test advanced autonomous capabilities.

“This technology will enable ASV Global to access new market areas as well as continuing to solidify our position as the leading autonomous surface vehicle system supplier.”

The company will use the software onto its ASView control system to demonstrate it at the UK Royal Navy organised Unmanned Warrior event, which will be held in Scotland next month.

ASV Global’s advanced marine autonomy software was recently exhibited in the Tidal Thames.

Image: ASV Global to use Dstl’s USV capability technology. Photo: courtesy of ASV Global.