Elbit Systems UK’s Seagull™ USV achieves 100% success rate in Royal Navy’s Mine Hunting WISEX trials
4 October 2022
London, 04 October 2022 – Elbit Systems UK recently conducted successful demonstrations of its Seagull™ Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) to showcase its proven autonomous mine hunting technology for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). The Wilton Industry Show and Experiment (WISEX) demonstrations aimed to provide MOD and industry partners with an analysis of Seagull™’s mine hunting capabilities under operational conditions. The WISEX demonstrations took place off the coast of Scotland and Seagull™ achieved a 100% target detection rate.
As part of the Royal Navy’s transition towards an autonomous Mine Hunting Capability, MOD invited Elbit Systems UK to demonstrate Seagull™ and her Mine Countermeasure (MCM) toolbox sub-systems under operational conditions – involving key environmental variables, such as differing depths, currents and tidal streams – in UK Waters in Scotland. The demonstrations took place in July and August and involved showcasing specific capability to provide the Royal Navy with the evidence required to inform the progress of its Mine Hunting Capability Programme. Co-sponsored by Navy DEVELOP and Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S), the demonstrations were also supported by Dstl stakeholders.
The demonstration area comprised two simulated minefields seeded with mine-like objects to challenge Seagull™’s detection and MCM capabilities. Despite the demanding sea state, the demonstrations were a resounding success, with the Seagull™ USV and her mission system payloads achieving a target detection and identification rate of 100%.
Seagull™ is the only operationally proven USV currently available in the world, and it can be deployed for a variety of crewed and uncrewed missions. Modular and agnostic in design, Seagull™’s mission system payloads can be used to support Mine Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, Electronic Warfare and ISR operations - providing navies with a full spectrum of autonomous operational capability. Additionally, its Mission Command Station can be operated from a mothership, from a headquarters, or transported in a mission module vehicle to a remote location onshore – as was the case during the WISEX demonstrations.
Martin Fausset, CEO of Elbit Systems UK, said:
The great success of the Seagull™ trials proves that Elbit Systems UK is spearheading USV technology globally, and that our cutting-edge autonomous maritime technology offers innovative and consistent results. These demonstrations provided the Royal Navy with the evidence necessary to inform the requirements of MOD’s programme development trials, and further highlights our continued commitment to developing technology designed to safeguard our Armed Forces.
Commander Ben Stait said:
The Royal Navy has established WISEX to allow industry to demonstrate their autonomous mine countermeasures systems, in the challenging naval exercise areas of the west coast of Scotland. This demonstration is part of the Mine Hunting Capability programme, which is at the forefront of next generation maritime autonomous systems. The Royal Navy is grateful for Elbit Systems UK participation and excited by the capability they demonstrated as the programme develops into its next phase.
Seagull™ is an operationally-proven USV that provides naval forces with the tactical advantage in underwater and surface warfare through its advanced multi-mission capabilities. The fully autonomous Seagull™ can operate at cruising speed for more than 4 full days at sea, comprised of composite and aluminium materials, the vessel incorporates removable floats and bridge dynamic positioning.
The 12m Seagull™ USV is easily deployed from port or mother ship and can be transported in a 40 ft. container. The Seagull™ is armed with a 12.7mm remote controlled weapons system, torpedo launching system and a non-lethal weapons system. It also features electronic support measures (ESM) and electronic counter measures (ECM), electro-optical sensor, expendable mine disposal vehicles and diver’s neutralisation system.
About Elbit Systems UK
Elbit Systems UK Ltd. holds three wholly owned subsidiaries as well as two joint ventures. In total, over 600 personnel are employed by the Elbit Systems UK companies in the UK, in high tech roles in the defence, aerospace and rail sectors. The two joint ventures were formed in order to deliver the Watchkeeper programme for the British Army and to supply and support three fleets of aircraft within the UK MOD Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) programme. Elbit Systems UK is an established supplier to the UK Armed Forces, participating in several major Defence programmes such as Morpheus and MEWSIC Increment 1, and delivering the Dismounted Joint Fires Integrator and Joint Fires Synthetic Trainer.