Elbit Systems unmanned vessel successfully fires torpedo


The trial off Israel's coast near Haifa was the first-time ever that an unmanned vessel has launched a torpedo.

Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) has recently successfully completed the firing of a torpedo from its Seagull multi-mission, autonomous Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) system. This is the first-time ever that an unmanned vessel has launched a torpedo.

The trial, which was carried out off Israel's coast near Haifa, demonstrated Seagull's ability to install and launch lightweight torpedoes, adding to the platforms sensory capabilities. The USV is designed to carry out unmanned maritime missions, such as anti-submarine warfare counter-mine operation, and protecting valuable offshore infrastructures such as oil and gas rigs. Lightweight torpedoes are also often used by anti-submarine vessels, helicopters, and aircraft against submarines in shallow waters. Elbit Systems Vice VP Naval Systems Business Line ISTAR Division Ofer Ben-Dov said, The success of this test demonstrates Seagulls modular mission system capability, enabling a highly effective ASW configuration of high-performance dipping sonar using two single tube torpedoes. The test highlighted Seagulls capacity to detect and engage submarines, in addition to its ability to detect and destroy sea mines all using the same multi-mission USV system in modular configurations. This new and important capability has, to date, only been available to navies through manned vehicles.

Seagull is a 12-meter long multi-mission USV system equipped with one or two vessels that can be operated and controlled in concert from manned ships or from shore. Seagull provides multi-mission capabilities and can be employed for ASW, MCM, EW, maritime security and other related missions, leveraging modular mission system installation and offering a high level of autonomy. In its basic configuration, the Seagull is armed with a remotely operated weapon station mounting a 0.5 machine gun.

In its full configuration, the advanced USV system delivers unmanned mine hunting operation capability, taking personnel out of the minefield. The USV has C4I capabilities for enhanced Situation Awareness (SA) and a large fuel capacity, allowing it to remain at sea for several days. Seagulls are designed to operate in pairs, with one carrying the sonars that detect and locate the targets and the other operating devices such as counter-mine robots, depth charges and ASW torpedoes to neutralize the threats.

The Seagull is likely to first be deployed by the Israeli Navy.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 29, 2016

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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