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U.S. tests Saab's Sea Wasp underwater anti-IED device

A system for detecting and neutralizing underwater improvised explosive devices has been developed by Saab.

By Richard Tomkins
Saab's remotely operated Sea Wasp vehicle for underwater anti-IED operations. Photo courtesy Saab
Saab's remotely operated Sea Wasp vehicle for underwater anti-IED operations. Photo courtesy Saab

LINKOPING, Sweden, May 17 (UPI) -- A new underwater device that relocates, identifies and neutralizes improvised explosive devices has been introduced by Saab.

The remotely piloted vehicle is the Sea Wasp, which leverages technology from Saab's Seaeye line of commercial ROVs and incorporates previously developed technologies for military systems.

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"Sea Wasp is a hybrid of pre-existing Saab technologies that can now be applied to an urgent worldwide need," said Bert Johansson, sales director of Underwater Systems within Saab Dynamics business area. "Underwater EOD is a rapidly growing niche around the world, and Sea Wasp's capabilities correspond to that niche."

Saab said it partnered with the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office in providing Sea Wasp prototypes to three explosive ordnance disposal agencies to test their system: the U.S. Navy EOD Group 2, the FBI Counter-IED Unit, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division's Counter-Terrorist Operations Maritime Response Unit.

All three agencies have received Sea Wasp training. They are testing and evaluating the system over the next 10 to 12 months.

"The U.S. unmanned underwater vehicle market is very important for Saab," said Jon Kaufmann, Vice President of Naval Programs with Saab North America. "Our goal with Sea Wasp is to meet U.S. national security needs with an underwater, anti-IED device that keeps EOD teams safe."

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