The Russian Navy is set to benefit from an expanding range of unmanned mine-countermeasures (MCM) systems that will augment its next-generation Alexandrit (Project 12700)-class mine-countermeasures vessels (MCMVs), industry sources have revealed to Jane’s .
Present efforts include the integration of ECA Group’s Inspector Mk 2 unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to the first Project 12700 MCMV, Alexander Obukhov , which was handed over to the service in December 2016. The delivery of the second ship, the future Ivan Antonov , is scheduled for late 2018. The service is expected to operate six of these vessels.
“The Russian Navy has acquired three Inspector Mk 2 USVs for its Project 12700 MCM vessels,” an industry source confirmed.
“The first system was delivered in Autumn 2015, the second in 2016, and the third in July 2017,” the source added, noting that the USVs are equipped with two Seascan Mk 2 remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), the TOWCA side-mounted sonar, and the ISSS nose-mounted retractable sonar. The system is named Diamant (Diamond) in Russian Navy service.
The Inspector Mk 2 features an 8.4 m rigid hull constructed from aluminium. The vehicle has a draught of 0.5 m, a displacement of up to 4,700 kg, and payload capacity of 1,000 kg. The USV is powered by two diesel waterjets, which produce a speed of up to 25 kt with an endurance of up to 12 hours. The USV – which can operate in conditions of up to Sea State 4 and detect mine-like objects at depths between 10 m and 100 m – can also be optionally manned by four personnel depending on mission requirements.
It was reported that the first three Project 12700 MCMVs will be outfitted with the Inspector Mk 2 USVs. An official from ECA Group told Jane’s at the International Maritime Defence Show in Saint Petersburg in 2017 that the company is planning to establish the licensed manufacture of the Inspector Mk 2 USVs and Seascan Mk 2 ROVs in Russia by 2019.
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