ATLAS Remote Combined Influence Minesweeping System (ARCIMS) is manufactured by Atlas Elektronik UK. Based on an unmanned surface vessel (USV) platform, the ARCIMS is intended to offer next-generation mine countermeasures (MCM) capability to the naval forces.
The ARCIMS with ‘in-theatre’ proven technology is an ideal platform for multi-influence minesweeping missions. It offers remote mine hunting and disposal payloads in a flexible and cost-efficient package to counter a range of mine threats.
The ARCIMS platform was unveiled at the Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in September 2013. The system underwent extensive trials at Bincleaves sea test facility before achieving operational efficiency. It was then displayed in September 2015 at that year’s DSEI.
The ARCIMS was preferred by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the Mine Countermeasures and Hydrographic Capability (MHC) Sweep Capability project of the Royal Navy (RN), in March 2015. Hazard, a manned version of the ARCIMS, is in service with the Maritime Autonomous System Trials Team (MASTT) of the Royal Navy. Atlas Elektronik also delivered two ARCIMS to an undisclosed customer based in the Middle East.
ARCIMS design and features
The ARCIMS platform is mounted on a glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) tunnel hull craft made by ICE Marine. It was designed to allow easy and rapid transport by land, sea or air and to offer quick response to asymmetric threats. The shock-resistant platform offers high-manoeuvrability and towing capability during missions.
The highly mobile ARCIMS can be easily integrated with MCM platforms, surface vessels or shore-based command and control systems. The deployment of a single or multiple ARCIMS increases the pace of MCM missions. The USV is also certified for manned missions.
The system can be controlled from the ground or surface vessels and can be easily adaptable for new roles. The ARCIMS can be operated independently or combined with an integrated mine warfare system.
The ARCIMS autonomously performs mission planning, execution and analysis, with command and control by the operator. The high levels of automation reduce operator workload. The system avoids human exposure to minefields by employing approved safety systems in mine clearance operations.
The unmanned platform measures 11m-long, 3.2m-wide and 0.5m-deep. It has a weight of 6,000kg and can carry a maximum payload of 3,000kg. The system requires minimal maintenance and training and is also offered with integrated logistics support (ILS) from the company.
The modular payloads aboard the vessel offer an effective capability against all types of mines and allow the vessel to perform minesweeping, hunting and disposal missions.
The versatile and spacious mission bay accommodates ATLAS minesweeping payloads, including a power generation module (PGM) and towed magnetic, acoustic and electric sweeps.
The mission bay can be integrated with the Northrop Grumman AQS-24 mine-hunting system, which can be launched and recovered from the stern. The AQS-24 features a high-resolution, side-scan sonar and a laser line scanner.
The ARCIMS USV is powered by two engines driving two water jets or propellers. The propulsion system ensures a maximum speed of more than 40k and an average towing speed of 8k.