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DSEI 2023: BAE Systems to launch Herne XLAUV technology demonstrator in 2024

BAE Systems' Herne XLAUV concept on display at DSEI 2023. (Janes/Kate Tringham)

BAE Systems has joined forces with Canadian company Cellula Robotics to develop a technology demonstrator for its extra-large autonomous underwater vehicle (XLAUV) that it plans to showcase by late 2024.

Under the project, BAE Systems is planning to demonstrate the capabilities developed for its Herne XLAUV concept on one of Cellula Robotics' Solus underwater vehicles in trials that are set to take place at a facility on the south coast of England in September 2024.

Speaking to Janes at the DSEI exhibition in London on 13 September, Tom O'Neill, business development, BAE Systems Maritime Underwater, said the initial trials would focus on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) payloads.

β€œThe aim of what we're trying to do in September is to get something in the water as quickly as possible, because it's not until you start experimenting and having a play with these vehicles that navies can really identify where the gaps are,” he said.

BAE Systems first unveiled its Herne XLAUV concept at the Euronaval exhibition in Paris in October 2022, evolving a preliminary design in partnership with Stellar Systems, capitalising on Stellar's Eidolon XLAUV and leveraging BAE's experience in payload integration, sensors, mission planning, electronic architecture, and whole-boat integration.

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