SeaFox takes part in US Navy Fleet Experiment
Atlas North America has announced that its SeaFox mine neutralisation system has participated in the Trident Warrior 2012 US Navy Fleet Experiment, performing unmanned mine countermeasure missions between 9 and 20 July 2012.
As part of the Fleet Experiment, Textron AAI used its Fleet Class Common Unmanned Surface Vessel (CUSV) with a L-3 Klein 5000 V2 Side Scan Sonar to investigate a sus-pected minefield. When detecting a mine-like object, its coordinates were input into the SeaFox to further prosecute the potential target. A second CUSV then remotely deployed the SeaFox for examining and identifying the exercise-mines, followed by a simulated mine-neutralisation.
The company said that SeaFox successfully performed over 15 mine hunting and neutralisation missions from the Textron AAI CUSV against both moored and bottom mines and under differing sea conditions, proving itself ‘more than capable of meeting the demand for safe and efficient mine disposal capabilities from unmanned off-board platforms’.
According to Atlas North America, the Trident Warrior scenarios were executed in a practice mine-field laid by the US Navy off-shore of the US Marine Corp Base at Camp Pendleton, California.
The SeaFox is a one-shot mine disposal vehicle, used for semi-autonomous disposal of naval mines and other ordnance found at sea. It is able to automatically relocate previously acquired positions of underwater objects within minutes with the integrated homing sonar. Upon relocation, these objects can be further identified using the onboard CCTV camera and destroyed by the use of a built-in, large caliber shaped charge. It can easily be deployed from a wide range of platforms, including dedicated Mine Countermeasure (MCM) vessels, surface combatants, crafts of opportunity, Rhibs, helicopters, and Unmanned Surface and Subsurface Vessels. The system is currently in operation with ten different navies worldwide, including the US Navy.
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