South Korea’s LIG Nex1 showcased a sea demonstration of its prototype Hae Gum (Sea Sword) unmanned surface vessel (USV) to the public for the first time at Changwon Marine Defense Exhibition 2019 held in Changwon city from 20–22 June.
The Sea Sword USV adopts a high-speed monohull design – constructed from fibre-reinforced plastic – and measures 8 m long and displaces approximate 3 tonnes. The sea vehicle is equipped with a diesel engine and a waterjet propulsion system that enables it to achieve a stated maximum speed of 40 kt.
South Korea’s LIG Nex1 is developing the Hae Gum USV to meet an expected Korean navy requirement (Kim Dae Young)
According to LIG Nex1, the Sea Sword has an operational endurance of up to eight hours at 15 kt and has a control radius of up to 12 km. It is also designed to operate in sea state 4 conditions.
Typical mission equipment includes an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) system with a detection range of up to 6 km in daylight and 3 km at night time. It is also equipped with an on-board radar with a range of up to 5 km, a communications module, and a modular electronic architecture that supports the integration of a range of mission payloads.
An indigenously developed autonomous navigation system enables the UAV to conduct independent surveillance and reconnaissance missions according to a pre-programmed route, with the ability to perform automatic collision avoidance to evade maritime obstacles.
Its key missions include surveillance and reconnaissance in high-risk areas and tracking of suspicious surface contacts such as illegal fishing vessels.