Sponsored by The British Robotics Seed Fund
21 Sep 20. RiptideTM UUV-12 launches BAE Systems into medium unmanned undersea vehicle market. BAE Systems has unveiled the newest addition to its unmanned undersea vehicle (UUV) portfolio, the RiptideTM UUV-12. The 12” diameter vehicle is the company’s entry into the medium UUV market – joining three small UUV variants – and marks the first new vehicle since last year’s acquisition of Riptide Autonomous Solutions.
“The Riptide UUV-12 system significantly extends the Riptide family of UUVs by taking us into the medium UUV market,” said Jeff Smith, chief scientist at BAE Systems’ FAST Labs™ research and development organization. “With this medium-size platform, we are strategically aligning our modular, open architecture-based UUV platform to meet rapidly expanding applications and requirements.”
Riptide UUV-12 can be easily adapted to meet a variety of mission needs, including those that require larger and more power-hungry payloads. When integrated with the company’s mission system payloads, it can deliver critical capabilities including combinations of Radio Frequency (RF) signal collection, RF electronic warfare, active acoustics, acoustic Identification Friend or Foe, acoustic and RF communications, mission autonomy, and navigation.
Key Riptide UUV-12 features include:
- Versatility – agnostic, modular system design enables easy modification and customization for various development needs;
- Endurance – high-efficiency electronics architecture coupled with a highly efficient, low-noise propulsion system;
- Open system – native integration with industry-leading sensors and technology.
The Riptide family of UUVs is a combination of sophisticated yet simple, efficient, and highly flexible platforms that perform at great depth, at long range, with high endurance, and at significant speed to meet various commercial and military requirements.
21 Sep 20. TAI Aksungur Flies 28 Hours with Full Ammunition. Aksungur, a domestically produced medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), completed a 28-hour-long flight last Thursday. It was the first time the aircraft flew with a payload at an altitude of 20,000 feet (6,096 meters).
TAI announced the new achievement on Twitter. “Aksungur, the domestic and national product of our country, flew for the first time with full ammunition, 12 MAM-L (Smart Micro Munition), at an altitude of 20,000 feet for 28 hours,” the statement read.
Aksungur can carry up to 750 kilograms (1,654 pounds) of payload and is capable of long-endurance operations at an altitude of up to 40,000 feet.
The UAV most recently broke a record during its 59th test flight by staying in the air for 49 hours, TAI announced on Sept. 2.
Loaded on all six stations, Aksungur performed the 28-hour mission with 12 MAM-Ls for the first time.
The MAM-L, developed by leading Turkish defense contractor Roketsan, came to the fore after media and defense sources reported that Turkish drones used smart ammunition to neutralize enemy targets, including tanks, howitzers and Russian-made air defense systems, during its counterterrorism operations and retaliatory moves against the Bashar Assad regime in Syria.
Aksungur previously carried and test-fired MK-82 ammunition with a Teber guidance kit weighing around 250 kilograms. It was the first drone to use Teber. The Teber guidance kit, also developed by Roketsan, converts conventional bombs into precision smart ammunition. (Source: UAS VISION/Daily Sabah)
18 Sep 20. Lockheed Martin and Vigor Works partner for US Navy LUSV. Lockheed Martin has collaborated with Vigor Works for the US Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vessel (LUSV) competition.
Lockheed Martin has collaborated with Vigor Works for the US Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vessel (LUSV) competition.
The partnership follows after the US Navy signed contracts with six companies worth a total of $41m for the research of LUSVs earlier this month.
Huntington Ingalls, Bollinger Shipyards Lockport, Marinette Marine, Marinette, Gibbs & Cox and Austal USA are the other awardees.
As part of a $7m contract awarded by the US Navy, Lockheed Martin will deliver a study for an integrated and capable payload ship, as a part of the competition.
The payload ship will have the capability of patrolling for extended durations of time.
As the prime contractor, the company will oversee the programme and provide platform integration, systems engineering, combat management, automation and cyber solutions.
Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems vice-president and general manager Joe DePietro said: “The Lockheed Martin team brings together nearly 200 years of combined experience in shipbuilding, integration, automation and autonomy.
“Our team is energised by and focused on delivering the Navy what they’ve asked for – a design for an affordable, low-risk ship capable of bringing the Navy’s Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) vision to life.”
The design uses a commercial ship that will be enhanced with automation, autonomy and cybersecurity elements to feature a payload.
It uses Lockheed Martin’s platform-agnostic Sikorsky MATRIX technology and AXIS control technology.
Lockheed Martin will provide the study within 12 months ahead of the next stage of the competition which is the LUSV Detailed Design and Construction competition.
Vigor business development vice-president Richard McCreary said: “We are honoured to be part of the Lockheed Martin team and to leverage our extensive fabrication expertise, including previously building 16 USVs of various designs and sizes.
“We are ready to deliver a concept design that will help the Navy deploy a safe, efficient and affordable LUSV fleet for the future.”
Earlier this week, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper outlined plans for the US Navy’s future naval force fleet to maintain maritime superiority.
The British Robotics Seed Fund is the first SEIS-qualifying investment fund specialising in UK-based robotics businesses. The focus of the fund is to deliver superior returns to investors by making targeted investments in a mixed basket of the most innovative and disruptive businesses that are exploiting the new generation of robotics technologies in defence and other sector applications.
Automation and robotisation are beginning to drive significant productivity improvements in the global economy heralding a new industrial revolution. The fund allows investors to benefit from this exciting opportunity, whilst also delivering the extremely attractive tax reliefs offered by the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). For many private investors, the amount of specialist knowledge required to assess investments in robotics is not practical and hence investing through a fund structure makes good sense.
The fund appoints expert mentors to work with each investee company to further maximise the chance of success for investors. Further details are available on request.