On a clear, crisp October day, a team of Saab employees arrived in Stornoway, Scotland, with an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) training target. Their mission? Showcase Saab's AUV62-AT at the ASW phase of Unmanned Warrior, a Royal Navy-led exercise for maritime autonomous systems.
And they weren't the only Saab participants. A second Saab team partook in the event's mine countermeasures (MCM) phase to display the Sea Wasp, an underwater, anti-IED (improvised explosive device) remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
Anti-Submarine Warfare Team
The ASW phase of the exercise took place in the Minch, a strait between the west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides. Saab's ASW team operated the AUV62-AT, an acoustic target, from a torpedo recovery vessel. Simulating the active and passive signature of a real submarine, AUV62-AT was used for tracking by autonomous sensor systems from Boeing and Hydronaut and sonar buoys from Ultra.
Mine Countermeasures Team
The MCM phase was based at the British Underwater Test Evaluation Centre (BUTEC), a range in Kyle of Lochalsh used to evaluate submarines. There, Saab's MCM team used Sea Wasp to take on numerous tasks within the harbor. The ROV performed counter-IED targeting on the jetty above/on the waterline, hull searches of larger vessels, a seabed search, and an exercise target location and recovery.
As the only ASW target vessel present at Unmanned Warrior, AUV62-AT was given a huge platform to shine. The system was successfully operational for the entire two-week exercise period.
Sea Wasp also proved its 100 percent reliability, carrying out each task successfully. Still a prototype, Sea Wasp's participation allowed for significant operator feedback before production begins in 2017.