Sea Platforms

CASC unveils next generation USV concepts

21 September 2017
The 15 m long C1500 USV is optimised for ASW, although it could also be configured for other naval missions such as air defence and mine countermeasures. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) outlined its plans for a new family of unmanned surface vessels (USVs) at the 2017 International Ocean Science and Technology (OST) exhibition in Qingdao.

The platforms are aimed at addressing a range of maritime security and naval requirements, and are under development by the Beijing-based 13th Research Institute of CASC’s Ninth Academy. The new USV designs include the 8.5 m long B850, which is intended to conduct high-speed maritime patrol and interdiction missions, the 11.5 m long A1150 for hydrographic survey, and the 15 m long C1500, which is optimised for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations.

The B850 High Speed Patrol USV is based on a 8.5 m rigid-hull inflatable boat seaframe outfitted with a diesel propulsion system with a proposed maximum speed of 40 kt and operational endurance in excess of 24 hours, or out to a range of 107 n miles. The design is also expected to be capable of operating in conditions of up to Sea State 4.

Standard mission equipment for the B850 will comprise an electro-optical/infrared turret with high definition day/night observation capabilities and integral laser rangefinder, a navigation radar, and satellite communications array, as well as a long range acoustic device. It is also capable of carrying a small multirotor unmanned aircraft system to extend its surveillance range.

The B850 is typically outfitted with a forward-mounted remote weapon system armed with a 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine gun, although it can also be armed with anti-frogmen rockets for facility or force protection operations. An eight-tube launcher system was shown on the display model at OST 2017.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options:

(292 of 628 words)