Elbit Systems Integrates Mini-UAS Onboard Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel

Elbit Systems has integrated a mini-Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) onboard the Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) further enhancing its intelligence gathering capabilities.

According to the company, the trials with the mini-UAS were conducted in recent weeks. With this, Elbit Systems is expanding the operational capabilities of the Seagull USV beyond Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Mines Countermeasure (MCM) missions.

The shipborne mini-UAS, with a takeoff weight of up to 15kg, is capable of point water recovery. The visual feed generated by the mini-UAS can be transmitted to the land based control unit of the Seagull USV and to the Combat Management System (CMS) of additional vessels.

While the Seagull USV is a specially designed multi-role vessel for underwater warfare, the USV’s switchable payload suite includes Electronic Warfare (EW) and Electro-Optic/Infra-Red (EO/IR) payloads to provide situational awareness and facilitate intelligence gathering. The integration of a tactical UAS onboard the USV further expands its capacity to generate intelligence enabling to utilize the USV for enhancing the situational awareness of any maritime force and for shore exploration.

Seagull USV Launching a Mini-UAS
A mini-Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) being launched from an Elbit Systems Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV). Elbit Systems Photo.
Seagull USV Launching a Mini-UAS
A mini-Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) being launched from an Elbit Systems Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV). Elbit Systems Photo.

The Seagull USV is an autonomous multi-mission USV featuring switchable, modular mission payload suites capable of performing ASW, MCM, EW, Maritime Security (MS), Hydrography and other missions using the same vessel, the mission control system and the same data links. The Seagull USV enable naval forces to enhance performance while reducing risk to human life and dramatically cutting procurement and operating costs.

Elbit Systems has added additional sonar systems onboard the Seagull USV during the last year, integrating a HELRAS sonar in-cooperation with the Israeli Navy and concluding a series of trials for the TRAPS-USV towed sonar, significantly enhancing its ASW capabilities.

The Seagull USV was deployed by in several exercises that were conducted with NATO maritime forces in the last few years, including in an MCM exercise alongside the HMS Ocean of the UK Royal Navy, and an ASW exercise that was conducted together with the Victoria and the HMS Duncan frigates of the Spanish Navy and the UK Royal Navy.

Elbit Systems Seagull USV

Seagull is a multi-role unmanned surface vessel (USV) manufactured by Elbit Systems.

The USV is powered by two diesel engines and has a maximum speed of 60km/h. It can continuously operate at sea for more than four days.

The Seagull USV can be armed with a remote control weapon system (RWS) mounted with a 12.7mm machine gun. The USV can be also incorporated with a torpedo launching system and non-lethal weapon system.

Elbit Systems' Seagull USV
Elbit Systems’ Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV). Elbit Systems Photo.

Featuring switchable, modular mission payload suites, Seagull can perform Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and mine counter measures (MCM), electronic warfare (EW), maritime security (MS), hydrography and other missions using the same vessels, mission control system and data links.

The Seagull systems have superior MCM capability. This USV facilitates end-to-end mine hunting operations, including detection, classification, location, identification and neutralization of bottom, moored and drifting sea mines while taking the sailor out of the mine field.

The ASW capability provides the navy with a significant tactical advantage by effectively deterring and threatening enemy submarines using an available asset with significantly lower risk.

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