A 14m-long uncrewed torpedo vessel is reportedly being developed for the Russian Navy to boost its ant-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities.

An undisclosed source in the Russian defence industry told TASS news agency that the robotic torpedo-carrying ship will be designed to conduct detection and elimination of enemy submarines autonomously.

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It can operate autonomously in distant waters and Arctic latitudes and be controlled by a small crew or remotely from a costal centre or a drone carrier ship, noted the source.

The source was quoted by TASS as saying: “Work is currently underway at the design firm’s own initiative to develop an unmanned craft designated to hunt down and eliminate adversary submarines in autonomous mode.

“After spotting an enemy submarine, the robotic system will on its own identify the target and make a decision on launching a torpedo.”

The vessel is said to have a top speed of more than 35k, can remain operational without refuelling for up to three days and have an ammunition load of two 533mm electric torpedoes.

The source added: “The Arctic version of the robotic torpedo craft with a reinforced hull for navigating through broken ice is also envisaged.

“Several robotic torpedo-carrying vessels will make it possible to promptly deploy a temporary anti-submarine frontier in the area of combat patrols by a naval task force without engaging basic anti-submarine forces or to reinforce defence at the fleet’s naval bases.”