Thales building USV

July 5, 2012 at 12:17 PM
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LONDON, July 5 (UPI) -- An unmanned surface vehicle for use by Britain's Royal Navy in anti-mine operations is being developed by Thales UK and Autonomous Surface Vehicles Ltd.

Thales said under the partnering agreement for development it signed with ASV Ltd., the vessel will be deployable from a variety of platforms, air transportable and able to be reconfigured to carry a number of mine counter-measure systems, including unmanned underwater vehicles, towed sonar, disposal systems and minesweeping.

The two companies had previously designed the vehicle, which is 37.7 feet long and will have a maximum speed of about 25 knots.

Acceptance trails of the vehicle are expected later this year, with payload trials beginning early next year.

"As the MCM capability integrator of over half the world's in-service fleet of mine hunters, Thales brings many years of experience and understanding of mine warfare operations alongside world-class sensors and systems," said Phil Naybour, head of Thales UK's naval business.

"As we head into an era that heralds a step change in the delivery of mine warfare, moving from dedicated MCMVs to off-board systems and sensors, Thales's extensive capabilities in mission system integration are being brought to bear."

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