December 13, 2017
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Multi mission
Elbit Systems develops USV Seagull

Elbit Systems has developed an unmanned anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and mine countermeasure (MCM) vessels that enable navies to detect and defeat enemy submarines and neutralize sea mines in a safer, more efficient and affordable way.

At the DSEI exhibition the company demonstrated how the unmanned Seagull boats can autonomously perform anti-submarine operations over a distance of 1,890 nautical miles (3,500 km), with the mission controlled over a satellite link.

Operating its dipping sonar and Elbit Systems proprietary software, Seagull performed real-time detection and classification of objects, demonstrating the capability to deter and dissuade hostile subsurface activity. The Seagull team included two operators, a USV operator and sonar operator.

Seagull is a 12-meter long USV that can be operated from a mother-ship or from shore stations. It provides multi-mission capabilities including ASW, Mine Hunting & Mine Sweeping (MCM), Electronic Warfare (EW), maritime security and underwater commercial missions, leveraging modular mission system installation and offering a high level of autonomy. It features inherent C4I capabilities for enhanced situation awareness and mission endurance of more than four days.

ASW operations with Seagull are particularly effective as the boats can deploy to a theatre packed in standard 40-foot containers, or be flown into the theatre by A-400M or C-17. Once they arrive at the operational area the boats can be operated from a ship or from shore, using a line of sight communications or satellite link. The boats are designed for operation in a rough sea. The Seagull proved its high performance in a recent MCM trials held by the Dutch and Belgian navies in the North Sea. During the trials, Seagull operated successfully in sea state 6, at winds exceeding 35 knots and 1.5 meter high waves. Seagull can also assume other missions, including protection of harbor, offshore facilities, and vessels at sea. On routine missions the boat surveys the sea surface with its sonar, providing detailed maps of the sea surface at coastal areas and waterways, thus improving detection capabilities in familiar waterways.