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Cellula, TAS partner to develop XLUUV for RAN

A computer-generated image showing the XLUUV being developed by Cellula in partnership with TAS for RAN under the SeaWolf project. (Cellula Robotics)

Canadian company Cellula Robotics, which focuses on developing subsea robotic systems, has been partnering with Australia's Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS) to build a fuel cell-powered extra-large unmanned underwater vehicle (XLUUV) for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Cellula Robotics has been a part of the contract “for six months on what is a 12 month pilot programme”, a spokesperson for the company told Janes.

The programme, which has been named as the SeaWolf project, will initially involve the development of a single 12 m prototype hull of the XLUUV, the spokesperson said.

The proto-hull will be demonstrated in a limited set of trials in the fourth quarter of 2022 or in the first quarter of 2023, the spokesperson added.

Earlier in May, a media release by Cellula said some features of the SeaWolf XLUUV “include a mission range of over 5,000 km powered by a state-of-the-art fuel cell power system and two modular 2,500 litre flooded payload bays”.

“With a 12 m by 1.7 m hull, SeaWolf can be shipped in a single 40 [ft] ISO container,” the release added.

Cellula also said it has subcontracted Australia's Ron Allum Deepsea Services “to implement a robust thruster and battery system” for the XLUUV.

The SeaWolf project builds on Cellula's existing Solus-LR system, which will also feature in the trials alongside the proto-hull, the spokesperson told Janes.

According to Janes Unmanned Maritime Vehicles

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