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Elbit trials TRAPS-USV sonar on Seagull USV

Elbit Systems' Seagull autonomous unmanned surface vehicle (USV) has completed integration and initial sea trials with a compact version of the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS) variable depth sonar (VDS) system developed by Elbit's Canadian-based subsidiary GeoSpectrum Technologies.

In-water testing of the TRAPS-USV system was performed off Haifa, Israel, in March. The company is claiming a world first for the launch and recovery of an active towed array sonar from a small USV under remote control.

Elbit’s Seagull USV pictured at sea with the TRAPS-USV active/passive sonar deployed. (Elbit Systems)

Elbit’s Seagull USV pictured at sea with the TRAPS-USV active/passive sonar deployed. (Elbit Systems)

Developed by Elbit's naval systems business, Seagull is a modular 12 m aluminium-hulled USV capable of operation from either a mother ship or shore station. Designed for a mission endurance in excess of 96 hours, the system marries a highly autonomous core command and control/situational awareness suite with modular payload packages tailored to specific missions including mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare (ASW), hydrography, electronic warfare, and maritime security.

Elbit has previously integrated the L3Harris Ocean Systems Helicopter Long-Range Active Sonar (HELRAS) active dipping sonar on Seagull and performed a sea acceptance test with the Israeli Navy.

The TRAPS-USV system is intended to provide an alternative ASW sonar option for customers with mission profiles – such as ASW escort or convoy protection – requiring a sensing capability while operating at speed.

TRAPS-USV is a scaled-down variant of the containerised TRAPS previously demonstrated by GeoSpectrum Technologies on Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-class coastal defence vessels.

Designed for manned and unmanned craft down to 12 m in length, TRAPS-USV achieves a substantial reduction in space/weight using a reduced-weight winch and handling system developed by Curtiss-Wright/Indal. Sonar processing for TRAPS-USV is performed by GeoSpectrum's sensor-agnostic RecView processing capability, which was specifically designed for remote/distributed operation.

The TRAPS-USV reduces overall system weight to approximately 40% of the baseline TRAPS sonar to enable integration on USVs and small craft down to 12 m in length (Elbit Systems)

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