The Swedish Navy has spent the last few days trialing a range of operational concepts that have included the operation of unmanned vessels, including Saab’s Enforcer III model.
As a converted Combat Boat 90, the boat is equipped with an extra mast to house navigation and communication systems, sensors, cameras and lasers for navigation. The platform was tested in a joint trial between Saab and the Swedish Navy in the southern Baltic Sea.
While there is a crew on board during the tests for safety reasons, the Enforcer is controlled from the corvette HMS Nyköping. The targets that the Enforcer detects are sent over to Saab’s personnel on the corvette, who in turn deliver it to the ship.
“Tactically, we have used the Enforcer for advanced reconnaissance. As the ship’s commander, I have therefore been able to remain more withdrawn and radar-quiet. In this way, my ship becomes significantly more difficult for an opponent to locate,” says Viktor Tornerhjelm, the commander of HMS Nyköping.
The corvettes’ focus for the week was on surface combat and finding and fighting targets together with aircraft. Jointly building the situational picture, what is available at sea, is one of the cornerstones.
“We have entered into a tactical context together with the corvettes and have been able to help them detect targets beyond their normal range. We have thus gained important experience which we will take further in the project,” Jens-Olof Lindh, project manager at Saab, adds.
The Swedish Navy is also trialing unmanned technology for mine-clearing operations. On the country’s west coast, sailors have been using an unmanned underwater vehicle to search for mines in a narrow passage towards a port. The craft is not part of the Swedish Armed Forces’ inventory, but is being tested within the framework of a military exercise.
“We need to modernize and implement the demining system and we need unmanned vehicles for demining. What we are doing right now is to form an idea of what technology is on the market today and how our needs can be realized,” says Olof Wallentin from the Swedish naval staff.