Atlas North America’s stand at Surface Navy 2018 is displaying its SeaFox mine disposal system. MONS stopped by to talk to Bob Murphy, Business Development at Atlas North America, about the latest developments in the programme: “Currently the SeaFox is launched from a surface ship and remains connected to it through fibre optic cables; we found that this was limiting the scope and speed of each mine hunting operation and are now working on developing a more efficient system.”
Presently Atlas is in a research and development phase to introduce the use of a buoy in the process: “Instead of being connected directly to the platform, the SeaFox would be connected to a buoy, which is launched at the same time and through which the SeaFox communicates with the launch platform.” This would allow the platform to move on to the next identified sea mine and continue operations while the SeaFox destroys the mines progressively. A full magazine of SeaFox systems can be carried on a Mine Countermeasure platform, whereas a rigid hull inflatable boat can carry six of them and a helicopter two.
Murphy also indicated that during the Unmanned Warrior exercise that was held in 2016 in Scotland, Atlas Elektronik UK partnered with Northrup Grumman to integrate the AQS-24 Minehunting System to the Remote Combined Influence Minesweeping System (ARCIMS). “The mission was a success so last autumn we decided to also integrate the SeaFox in the ‘Single Sortie Detect to Engage’ mission and we are pleased to say that was a success too.”
As the SeaFox gets its buoy, which is scheduled to happen within the next two to three years, the combination of the three systems is set to become an ideal MCM mission system.