BAE Systems has announced its collaboration with Cellula Robotics to showcase the capabilities of its new Extra Large Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (XLAUV) known as Herne.
The demonstrator project will test the ‘brains’ of the BAE Systems military XLAUV on one of Cellula Robotics’ underwater vehicles in trials set to take place next year at a facility on the south coast of England.
This fast-paced UK demonstration will showcase BAE Systems’ advanced autonomous underwater capability in an intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance scenario.
Recent sub-sea aggression has highlighted the strategic importance of the underwater domain, the need to protect the critical national infrastructure within it, and the inherent challenges.
Autonomous platforms like Herne could play a role in helping militaries overcome the challenge that the vast expanses of the underwater battlespace present, enabling them to monitor much larger areas without the limitations of a human crew and in a far more cost-effective way.
Herne is set to provide a capability built on BAE Systems’ deep understanding of its military customers to deliver the persistence and flexibility needed for the future. Its adaptable design will allow the platform to be configured to conduct operations including: anti-submarine warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and electronic warfare.
Scott Jamieson, Managing Director of Maritime Services at BAE Systems, said, “This will be the first time any UK company will have tested its advanced autonomous capabilities in this area and I am excited to be working with Cellula Robotics. My aim is to create a capability that is faster, more capable, more flexible, cheaper for customers to buy and provides navies with a way to protect critical national infrastructure.”
Eric Jackson, President at Cellula Robotics Ltd, added, “As we embark on this ground-breaking partnership with BAE Systems, we recognize the critical role autonomous platforms play in addressing the evolving challenges of the underwater domain. Recent sub-sea aggression incidents underscore the importance of safeguarding our underwater critical infrastructure.”