AAI Corp (booth 3054) recently completed an exercise off the coast of Camp Pendleton, California, showing that its Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle (CUSV) could be effective in anti-mine operations, including by towing side-scanning sonar and deploying mine neutralization vehicles.
The 9-20 July demonstration involved two vehicles: CUSV-1 carrying an L-3 Klein 5000 Victor 2 side-scanning sonar and CUSV-2 carrying an Atlas Seafox mine neutralization vehicle. The systems found mines with the sonar and then autonomously maneuvered CUSV-2 to dispatch the Seafox to inspect it further.
"We're saying that a whole new era in mine warfare has arrived," said Stan DeGeus, the company's senior business solutions director. "There were a lot of naysayers out there saying this can't be done, and we're saying it can be done... we can do it faster, we can do it safer."
The USV has a low acoustic and magnetic signature and can be operated with a variety of control systems, including a Panasonic Toughbook, using software derived from Textron/AAI's control systems from the Shadow unmanned aircraft.
DeGeus said the company is awaiting a request for proposals from the US Navy for the Unmanned Influence Sweep System, which will call for some of the same operational capability the CUSV has demonstrated.