The Evolving Development of Unmanned and Autonomous Vehicles to Protect Naval Forces
Forces that have both the capability and intention to disrupt allied activity are driving significant interest and investment in underwater technology developments.
Unmanned and autonomous vehicles have been recognised as the most disruptive technology since towed array sonars. Navy leaders now have the potential to increase a force’s capability and standing exponentially as they can do more tasks, over greater range, for longer periods, at less risk and with less people than current operations.
Underwater Defence & Security 2018 will provide a forum to bring NATO member and partner nations up to speed with programme developments and share key operational requirements to plan future innovations.
FMV, in partnership with the Swedish Navy and Armed Forces, have embarked on significant development programs over the last 20 years. Matteo Perrone, Project Manager R&D Unmanned Underwater Systems, FMV will share with delegates how they have overcome technical and tactical challenges of launching AUVs from submarines.
Delegates will be taken all the way back to when the Subsea Warfare R&D Program began in 1999. One of the first developments from the demonstrator project lead to the Swedish Navy developing the Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) which was mounted on an autonomous underwater vehicle. The vehicle, called “AUV 62 Sapphires MR”, was also used for mine reconnaissance (MR).
Matteo Perrone will show delegates how the modular design of the vehicle subsequently allowed the development of an Acoustic Target (AT) module, which has in turn developed into the “ASW training AUV 62 AT”, now used today by the Swedish Navy.
Delegates will also discover how the program has also developed another auxiliary equipment: the “SUBROV”. This is a 6-DOF remotely operated vehicle capable to be loaded installed and operated from a torpedo tube without needing to modify of the Submarine and is today still in force alongside the AUV 62 AT and Sapphires MR.
The SUBROV, which has different applications, is today in force at the Swedish Navy along with the AUV 62 AT and Sapphires MR.
However, the development of underwater vehicles hasn’t stopped. Delegates will be brought up to date on progress made within the Subsea Warfare R&D Program, with opportunities to discuss the future possibilities and strategies to overcome the final hurdles faced in the last stage of the technical development.
This is a fascinating journey which delegates, from both the naval and industry communities, will be taking away a wealth of knowledge and practical information which will aide their own UxV development programmes.
There is a need from navy leaders to utilise autonomous platforms that can find, identify, and track underwater targets are here today. This capability must be fully integrated into our ASW system of systems. Doctrine must be developed to maximize Manned and Unmanned teaming.
Johan Wahren, Underwater Warfare and Combat Systems Project Manager, FMV, will use an example from the development of ASW targeting options for the Swedish Armed Forces to demonstrate the possibilities of new platforms and technology which nations can use to acquire these capabilities.
Johan will outline how the Swedish Armed Forces has integrated ASW targeting options into its program and an overview of the short, and long-term, research and development within the program to deliver the capabilities required to counter evolving threats.
Delegates will also be given a unique insight into the short, and long-term development, of the program. This requires the support of joint development activities within the AUV area between FMV, the Swedish Armed Forces, industry organisations and of course academia to facilitate the optimum program output.
Leaders who fail to understand what UxV can do for your force will result in being left behind, with reduced capacity compared to your peers and enemies, with little flexibility in your budget or doctrine to do anything about it.
Make sure you’re fully up-to-speed by attending Underwater Defence & Security 2018.