May 23, 2022
by Dr. Lee Willett
The MSubs S201 XLUUV, photographed at sea. The UK MoD has completed deployment testing of the XLUUV fitted with a KraitArray fine line towed array sonar. (SEA)
The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) has successfully demonstrated the ability to deploy fine line towed array sonar from an Extra Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV).
The trials, held off Plymouth, UK, in the second quarter of 2022, involved the KraitArray 9m S201 XLUUV towed sonar from MSubs and SEA.
In a May 18 statement, SEA said the trials “[have] proven the ability to deploy an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) payload from an autonomous underwater vehicle”. The work followed previous trial activities, in late 2021, during which the integration of the vehicle and the towed array was demonstrated, alongside the development of an array launch and recovery process.
The work is part of a UK Royal Navy (RN) program assessing the potential contribution of XLUUVs to providing a self-contained underwater battlespace capability. The RN is client and sponsor for the work, with the MoD’s Defense and Security Accelerator (DASA) organization and the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) serving as program manager and technical partner, respectively.
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