The Israeli Navy has conducted a successful sea acceptance trial for the Helicopter Long-Range Active Sonar (HELRAS) aboard an Elbit Systems SEAGULL unmanned surface vessel (USV), the company announced on 7 February.

Operating a dipping sonar onboard a USV significantly increases the operational working time and substantially enhances detection capabilities, contributing to more effective anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations.

The SEAGULL autonomous multi-mission USV features switchable, modular mission payload suites and can conduct, in addition to ASW, mine countermeasures (MCM), electronic warfare (EW), maritime security, hydrography and a variety of other missions using the same vessel, mission control system and data links. SEAGULL offers navies a true force multiplier, delivering enhanced performance in naval operations, reducing risk to human life and dramatically cutting procurement and operating costs.

Operational with the Israeli Navy, SEAGULL was successfully trialled in the North Sea by the Belgian Defence Ministry in 2017 and has been participating regularly in international naval exercises conducting MCM and ASW missions.

  • NATO forces deployed the SEAGULL during a joint ASW exercise with the Spanish Navy’s SANTA MARIA-class frigate VICTORIA and the Royal Navy’s Type-45 destroyer HMS DUNCAN;
  • The USV participated in a joint Royal Navy/Israeli Navy MCM exercise in which the SEAGULL USV was tasked with securing a path for HMS OCEAN, the UK helicopter carrier;
  • The SEAGULL conducted an autonomous end-to-end unmanned mission in sea states 5 and 6 in the North Sea MCM trials off the Belgian Zeebrugge Naval Base in June 2017.

Elbit Systems’ HELRAS dipping sonar was converted for operations from the company’s SEAGULL USV to facilitate sea trials conducted by the Israeli Navy. (Photo: Elbit Systems)

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