Elbit Systems and Leonardo have teamed to develop a light torpedo capability for integration on the former's Seagull unmanned surface vessel (USV).
Leonardo's lightweight and mini torpedoes will be demonstrated on board the USV, utilising architecture used for airborne torpedo launching systems.
The companies said that Leonardo has a strategic position in the design, production, and integration of this type of weapon that has been selected by 30 countries, while the Seagull is operational with the Israeli Navy and has been demonstrated carrying out mine countermeasures (MCM) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations within the Belgian defence ministry's 2017 North Sea trials.
The 12 m Seagull USV has an endurance of four days and can be operated from a control vessel or from the shore. During trials in Belgium in June 2017 near Zeebrugge naval base, the system demonstrated its ability to operate in sea state 5 and 6.
A single Seagull unit carried out an MCM mission, scanning the whole water column in one path, operating with both a K5900 side-scan sonar and a R2Sonic forward-looking sonar to carry out search, detection, and classification.
The system first explored the potential of integrating an offensive ASW capability onboard in 2016, when it tested a light torpedo capability onboard the USV during trials from Haifa port in Israel.
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