BAE Systems launches robo-sub

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BAE Systems has launched its first unmanned autonomous submarine to detect and deal with the growing threat of explosive mines hidden in shallow coastal waters such as ports and harbours.

The 50kg 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, the company says in a statement.

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, says that while open water threats remain significant, there is an increasing need for a threat detection capability in confined coastal areas.

“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 will be 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 neutralization, BAE Systems says.