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Inspector 120 is the latest addition to the Inspector family of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) developed by ECA Group. The new USV can carry larger payloads than its predecessor, Inspector Mk2 or Inspector 90 multi-purpose mine countermeasure USV.
The unmanned vehicle was unveiled in October 2018 and will take part in the upcoming international defence exhibition Euronaval 2018 to be held in Paris, France.
The Inspector 120 autonomous vessel is intended for use by the naval, coast guard, law enforcement, and police forces.
It can be integrated into the company’s UMIS mine countermeasure system, which deploys surface and underwater autonomous systems such as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and unmanned surface vessels.
Inspector 120 USV mission applications
The Inspector 120 unmanned vehicle is suitable for a wide range of defence, security and maritime applications, including protection of harbour and offshore installations, coastal surveillance, maritime patrol, law enforcement, fire-fighting, and rapid environment assessment (REA).
The vehicle can also be used for organic underwater mine warfare, from the shore underwater mine warfare, and conventional underwater mine warfare (MCMV) missions.
Other applications of the vehicle include surveillance and protection of naval forces, underwater surveys, inspections, hydrography, oceanography, and bathymetry.
Inspector 120 USV design and features
Designed by naval architecture firm MAURIC, the Inspector 120 USV’s ergonomic hull offers enhanced sea-keeping capabilities even at low speeds.
The vehicle has a length of 12m and can be launched from vessels having a length of 50m or more.
It can be operated in autonomous or remote control mode and allows for manned operations using the on-board steering housed in the spacious wheelhouse.
The large aft deck at the rear provides ample space for the installation of a wide range of payloads, subsystems or sensors.
Featuring a modular design, the USV can be customised to meet the specific needs of the customers.
Payloads carried by Inspector 120 underwater vehicle
The Inspector 120 USV is capable of carrying a variety of unmanned systems developed by ECA such as A18-M AUV, T18-M towed sonars, mine identification and destruction systems (MIDS), and other remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).
The systems can be deployed and retrieved using the on-board dedicated launch and recovery system (LARS).
It also carries a Seascan self-propelled ROV to carry out long-range inspection missions and a K-STER C expandable mine disposal vehicle for mine warfare missions. The K-STER C’s tiltable warhead is filled with insensitive explosives to provide greater accuracy of target detection and tracking.
The Seascan ROV integrates pan and tilt video camera and high-resolution acoustic and video sonars. It has a maximum speed of 6kt and can endure for up to three hours.
Propulsion and performance of Inspector 120 USV
The Inspector 120 unmanned surface vehicle is powered by a hydrojet propulsion system, which drives two waterjets. The propulsion system improves the manoeuvrability of the vehicle and enables it to operate in rough sea conditions up to sea state 5.
It offers greater flexibility and enhanced performance efficiency to the operators, even when carrying Seascan and K-STER C systems.
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