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The Inspector 125 unmanned surface vehicle (USV) is the latest entrant in the family of naval drone systems produced by the ECA Group. The USV is being built in collaboration with Mauric, a subsidiary of the ECA Group.
Inspector 125 features higher payload carrying capacities and superior towing capabilities. The highly shock-resistant and unsinkable USV is intended to perform unmanned operations in the high seas.
The multi-purpose heavy USV was unveiled at the IDEX trade show held in Abu Dhabi in February 2019.
Inspector 125 mission capabilities
The Inspector 125 USV is suitable for a range of defence and security operations such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW), oceanographic survey, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), mine countermeasures (MCM), as well as force support and protection.
Other applications of the vehicle include rapid environment assessment, seafloor survey, mine warfare, and infrastructure protection.
Inspector 125 design and features
The Inspector 125 USV’s hull is based on the V2 NG rescue boat platform designed by Mauric for the Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer/Association of French Sea Rescuers (SNSM). It is made of glass-reinforced plastic or marine-grade aluminium and has an operational life span of 15 years.
The overall length of the vessel is 12.3m, while the length of its hull is 11.9m. The USV has an overall width of 4.2m, overall height of 3.8m, and draft of 0.7m.
The 13.5t USV is operable in multiple modes such as remote-controlled mode, fully autonomous mode, and manual mode using on-board steering. It also incorporates the unmanned maritime integrated system (UMIS) and the UMISOFT software suite developed by the ECA Group.
The vessel can be optionally equipped with electro-optical and infrared sensors (EO/IR), mine obstacle avoidance sonar, as well as a containerised control and command station (C2).
The modular and air transportable USV can be deployed and controlled from a ship or shore. It is designed to offer resilience and unsinkability even in the event of damage.
Payload carried by Inspector 125
Inspector 125 USV integrates a dronisation kit, which enables it to operate multiple launch and recovery systems (LARS) to launch and recover autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and towed sonars (TSSS or TSAS).
The wide aft deck of the vehicle enables it to carry approximately 2.5t of payloads. Its open architecture allows it to carry and deploy unmanned systems such as AUV A18 or T18-M towed sonar for performing sea floor survey or mine countermeasures.
The USV can be configured to carry payloads such as two Seascan ROVs and six K-STER C mine identification and neutralisation ROVs simultaneously.
Inspector 125 USV propulsion and performance
The propulsion system of Inspector 125 integrates two 410hp engines driving two hydro-jets. The vessel can also be fitted with two shaft lines and propellers to meet specific towing requirements. The high-power propulsion system enables the USV to tow large side scan sonars or sweeps.
The USV can be launched from mother-ships more than 50m-long. It also forms part of the mother-ship toolbox of Octopoda 500 vessel. The USV can perform unmanned and manned missions in sea state conditions up to four and five, respectively.
The vessel can sail at a top speed of 25kt at full load displacement. It can withstand 40 hours at sea at nominal speeds ranging between 3kt and 20kt. It has a maximum operational range of 12 nautical miles (nm) in remote control mode.
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