The system has been designed and manufactured by Atlas Elektronik UK in Dorset, under a £13 million contract with the Ministry of Defence.
Defence Minister Guto Bebb said:
Easily transported by road, sea and air, the high-tech design means a small team could put the system to use within hours of it arriving in theatre. The system’s innovative and modernised technology has the ability to defeat today’s digital sea mines which can detect and target military ships passing overhead. The sweeper system, which features a “sense and avoid” capability, could also work together with other similar autonomous systems for the common goal of making our waters safer.
The project aims to demonstrate the sustainability of an unmanned system that can safely and successfully clear mines and which that can be operated from a land or ship-based control station and can be deployed from a suitable ship or port.
The system was tested against a number of performance requirements, such as how well it cleared mines, if the autonomous system could successfully avoid obstacles and the overall system performance.
This autonomous sweep system is part of the UK Navy's attempt to transit to autonomous offboard systems to tackle the threat posed to international shipping by the sea mine.