Iver4 900 unmanned underwater vehicle was developed by L3Harris OceanServer. Credit: L3Harris OceanServer.
The Iver4 900 UUV is suitable for both commercial and defence applications. Credit: Northrop Grumman Corporation.
µSAS sonar system will be integrated onto the UUV. Credit: Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Iver4 900 is a new unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) developed and manufactured by L3Harris OceanServer.

The UUV is used in a range of commercial and defence applications. Iver4 will meet the requirements of naval customers with the aim of completing long ingress and egress missions. It can be rapidly deployed during various unmanned underwater missions.

Iver4 is capable of detecting and identifying targets on the ocean floor. It will also complement expeditionary mine countermeasures (EXMCM), explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) and undersea search operations.

In September 2019, Iver4 UUV was demonstrated at the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) 2019. It completed a 12.5-hour, 27.5 nautical miles (nm) test expeditionary MCM mission during the exercise.

The Iver4 UUV completed its long endurance mission in California, US, in May 2019. The 14-hour long-endurance mission was conducted over a transit route of over 35nm, using a standard nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery configuration.

The vehicle gathered high-quality side-scan sonar and bathymetry data as part of a dedicated survey over 10nm.

Iver4 900 design and features

The Iver4 900 UUV has a length of 2.5m and a depth of 300m. It features 23m-long carbon fibre tubes, advanced tracking and safety communications, precise and repeatable measurements and a highly accurate navigation system.

“Iver4 will meet the requirements of naval customers with the aim of completing long ingress and egress missions.”

The UUV can be transported easily as the vehicle can be split into two-person portable sections and reassembled at the required destination. It can be configured for direct handling, non-freight shipping and transportation on a passenger aircraft.

The underwater vehicle can be operated from the surface using a rugged water-resistant remote-control joystick that can operate within a 300m range. A Getac rugged operator console will be used for mission planning, operating and data viewing. It also includes vector map mission planning software and vector map surface radio.

The unmanned platform will provide options for customised payloads based on customer requirements. The outer part of the vehicle is made of titanium and carbon fibre material to ensure durability in marine environments. It will feature wet pluggable, user-defined and swappable payloads. The topside deck box has benthos acoustic modem to support subsurface communications.

Iver4 900 UUV sonar system and sensors

The Iver4 900 UUV is integrated with µSAS sonar system, which is a low-SWaP (size, weight and power) interferometric synthetic aperture sonar. The system mainly allows increased coverage and longer sorties for UUV missions.

The unmanned underwater vehicle features high-accuracy depth sensors to provide accurate data. It is also installed with SVP sensor that measures the speed of sound.

The navigation is carried out based on iXBlue PHINS Compact C3 fibre-optic gyroscope. It will be equipped with safety systems such as drop weight and watchdog iridium systems.

Iver4 UUV propulsion and performance of

The UUV is also available with a lithium-ion battery that provides an endurance of up to 40 hours. The extended endurance will allow the UUV to support missions such as mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, extended survey, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The UUV offers a range of more than 40nm with NiMH battery and 80nm when installed with a lithium-ion battery.

The propulsion system enables the underwater vehicle to cruise at a speed of 3k.

Iver4 900 UUV contractors

Northrop Grumman was selected for integrating its µSAS sonar systems onto Iver4 UUVs in February 2020. The sonar systems will be installed at the L3Harris’ Fall River facility and will be tested in San Diego by the US Navy.

The US Navy and the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) selected L3Harris to deliver an Iver4-900 UUV to the navy in January 2019.