The UK defense ministry and Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK) have entered into an agreement for the delivery of three Sweep autonomous minesweeping systems to the Royal Navy.
The £25 million contract will see AEUK deliver autonomous unmanned surface vessels (USVs) based on the UK Sweep capability demonstrator system delivered by AEUK in 2018.
Following delivery in 2018, the Royal Navy’s maritime autonomous systems trials team put the Sweep through its paces in a range of conditions. The system provides a mine sweeping payload deployed from a 11-meter USV. The towed payload uses magnetic, acoustic and electric technology to identify and neutralize different types of sea mines.
The whole system is fully road, air and sea transportable. The UK defense ministry says the Sweep would detect more modern and smarter digital sea mines, which target ships and submarines passing overhead.
“This next-generation autonomous technology will be instrumental to our goal of protecting the safety and security of our personnel, while also reaffirming the UK’s unwavering commitment to improve the safety of international waters,” UK defense minister Jeremy Quinn said.
“I am delighted that the expertise and innovation, delivered by AEUK in the Autonomous Sweep system, is now going to be used for operational evaluation by the Royal Navy,” AEUK’s MD, Dr Antoni Mazur said.
The first minesweeping system will be delivered in late 2022 and will enter operational evaluation before being inducted into service at a later date.