First launch from USV; Elbit to continue to develop Seagull target and launch capabilities
Elbit Systems successfully launched a torpedo from its unmanned sea vessel “Seagull”, the first successful launch of a torpedo from a USV. The launch was carried out this week off the shores of Haifa.
The “Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel” was unveiled earlier this year, the USV system taking over three years to develop. The Seagull is a 40-foot, two-vessel system that can detect submarines and destroy underwater mines by deploying technology such as robots and interceptors underwater. The vessel can operate for 96 hours and can be operated and controlled through a single Mission Control System. The Seagull has advanced sensory capabilities and can detect most maritime threats.
According to Elbit, the system “provides unmanned end-to-end mine hunting operation taking the man out of the mine field. It provides mission planning, and on-line operation in known and unknown areas, including area survey, search, detection, classification, identification, neutralization and verification. It is equipped to search the entire water volume and operate underwater vehicles to identify and neutralize mines.”
Ofer Ben-David , Elbit’s VP of Naval Systems Business Line of the ISTAR Division stated on the successful torpedo launch “The success of the test proves the capability of the system’s different modules, which can use sonar as an alternative to fight advanced submarines. This unique and important ability was available to navies until now only through manned vessels… The success of this test demonstrates Seagull’s modular mission system capability, enabling a highly effective ASW configuration of high-performance dipping sonar using two single tube torpedoes. The test highlighted Seagull’s 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.”
Elbit will continue to develop the system to launch torpedoes at direct targets.