ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK has been selected to provide an autonomous route survey capability for Project WILTON.
The Royal Navy’s Mine Countermeasures & Hydrographic Capability (MHC) team are assessing the ability to ‘deliver UK Peacetime route survey capability by exploiting Maritime Autonomous Systems’.
AEUK has been chosen to provide an autonomous ARCIMS unmanned surface vessel (USV) and a 15m SEA Class platform, fitted with an advanced autonomy controller, to carry out a variety of tasks including the launch and recovery of different mission systems. These systems include sonars, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and remotely operated vehicles.
The ARCIMS USV and mission systems will be capable of operating autonomously from either land- or sea-based portable command centres.
ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK managing director, Dr Antoni Mazur said: “We at AEUK are proud to be involved in this important RN initiative. Autonomous systems are at the heart of our business and we fully support the Project WILTON aims.”
The USVs have AEUK’s advanced autonomy controller embedded and will have the ability to operate in combination with other USVs and UUVs through the use of an integrated mission planning software solution.
The data gathered by the Project WILTON mission systems will be held and utilized by the UK Hydrographic Office, following post mission analysis.
Mines represent a growing threat to maritime commercial and naval traffic owing to their low-cost and relative ease of deployment. Mine countermeasures (MCM) is principally conducted either through finding and destroying a mine (mine hunting), or through intentionally causing a mine to detonate (mine sweeping). The ARCIMS-based MCM mission systems provide navies with the capability to defeat advanced threat mines through the selection of either a mine hunting, mine sweeping or mine disposal payload.
Project Wilton is using RNMB HARRIER as the basis of a mine hunting capability, whilst with RNMB HUSSAR the RN are separately trialing an advanced mine sweeping system for use in the MHC project. Both RNMB platforms were supplied by AEUK and are based upon the ARCIMS USV.