Thailand orders SeaFox AUV
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has opted to upgrade its minehunting capabilities with the Atlas Elektronik SeaFox mine neutralisation drone. According to Atlas, the RTN has ordered three units under an agreement announced on 8 December 2011.
Atlas will also supply three corresponding number of SeaFox I units for inspection and training pur-poses and an initially small number of SeaFox C combat units for mine disposal. According to the company, further SeaFox C units are to follow over the next few years. The mobile SeaFox system is a completely autonomous system that allows the deployment of SeaFox vehicles with no dependence on shipboard facilities or equipment. This permits deployment of the SeaFox vehicles from various types of ships at any time, without the need to convert the vessels in any way.
The Royal Thai Navy currently operates four mine countermeasures vessels, all of which are equipped with mine warfare systems made by Atlas. The vessels to be modernized belong to two different ship classes. As the first step, the boats will be fitted with SeaFox units in the form of a mobile SeaFox system.
In total, ten navies have now decided to operate the SeaFox, making it the most successful mine dis-posal system in the world.
According to Atlas, the fibre-optic guided, one shot mine disposal vehicle SeaFox C is 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. After relocating, these objects can be identified using the onboard CCTV camera and destroyed by the use of a built-in, large caliber shaped charge. SeaFox I is a reusable vehicle for identification and training in the application field of mine hunting. In this vehicle the SeaFox C warhead is replaced by ballast weight. It is deployable from a wide range of carrier platforms, including dedicated MCM vessels, surface combatants, craft of opportunity, rubber boats and helicopters.
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