UV - Unmanned Vehicles

BAE Systems developing Pacific 950 RIB

26th July 2019 - 08:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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BAE Systems has completed a series of trials on a new autonomous boat designed to travel further, for longer and to more inhospitable environments.

The autonomous Pacific 950 Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) demonstrator has been used to develop and prove technologies which have the potential to make naval missions faster, easier and safer.

The demonstrator, which has been developed along with L3Harris and MSI Defence Systems, can be remote-controlled or can operate in semi-autonomous mode. It is able to operate at up to ten days at a time at speeds at patrol speed or 300 nautical miles in pursuit mode, reaching speeds of up to 45 knots.

The boat has pre-programmed intelligent behaviours to position itself appropriately in relation to a potential threat. Its weapons system remain under a human operator’s control.

BAE Systems believes the technology has potential applications across a range of missions, including anti-piracy operations, border control, persistent intelligence gathering, maritime security and force protection.

The technology has been designed to be retrofitted to existing RIBs, such as BAE Systems’ Pacific 24, which is currently in service with the Royal Navy across its surface fleet.

Further work will be conducted by BAE Systems in coming months to prove the technology can be integrated with existing naval ship combat management systems. The RIB will also undertake further trials, including participation in NATO Exercise REPMUS, to be held in Portugal later this year.

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