Farnborough, UK: In a move to help combat the growing threat of explosive mines hidden in shallow coastal waters such as ports and harbours and to increase the protection available to world shipping, BAE Systems has launched its first unmanned autonomous submarine to detect and deal with this newfound threat.
The 50kg vessel, called Talisman L, uses high-definition forward and sideways looking sonars, as well as a host of multi-view cameras.
It has a high degree of manoeuvrability and can turn within its own length and is able to operate at depths of 100 metres for anything up to 12 hours. With a top speed of more than five knots, it can hover and move around in any direction.
Paul Laity, Naval Programmes Director at BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies, said:
“While open water threats remain significant, there is an increasing need for a threat detection capability in confined coastal areas. With our new Talisman L we are providing a way of protecting our service men and women in these port and harbour environments.
“Talisman L can be deployed from almost any vessel, including rigid inflatable boats, and can be controlled either from a stand-alone console or integrated into a command ship’s Combat Management System, saving space and increasing operational effectiveness.”
The submarine can operate autonomously, using pre-set mission parameters, but operators can assume manual control at any time giving it significant tactical flexibility and command oversight.
Talisman L is one of a range of Talisman Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles that share open platform architectures, mission system components and command and training infrastructures.
One of the key features of the Talisman L is its ability to become a payload for the much larger ‘mother ship’ Talisman M unmanned submarine. This unique combination of systems allows a fully integrated approach to Mine Counter Measures to be undertaken, from detection through to neutralisation.