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Elbit Systems tested the combination of a mini-unmanned aerial system with its Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) to further enhance the vessel’s intelligence capabilities beyond Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Mines Countermeasure (MCM). The addition of a UAS extends the Seagull operator’s line of sight. Trials were conducted in recent weeks. 

The shipborne mini-UAS is capable of point water recovery and a takeoff weight of up to 15kg. The visual feed generated by the mini-UAS can be transmitted to the land based control unit of the Seagull USV and to the Combat Management System (CMS) of additional vessels, according to the company announcement.

While the Seagull USV is a specially designed multi-role vessel for underwater warfare, the USV’s switchable payload suite includes Electronic Warfare and Electro-Optic/Infra-Red payloads to provide situational awareness and facilitate intelligence gathering. 

The integration of a tactical UAS onboard the USV further expands its capacity to generate intelligence enabling to utilize the USV for enhancing the situational awareness of any maritime force and for shore exploration. 

The Seagull USV enables naval forces to enhance performance while reducing risk to human life and dramatically cutting procurement and operating costs. Additional sonar systems were added onboard the Seagull USV during the last year, integrating a HELRAS sonar in-cooperation with the Israeli Navy and concluding a series of trials for the TRAPS-USV towed sonar, significantly enhancing its ASW capabilities. 

The Seagull USV was deployed by in several exercises that were conducted with NATO maritime forces in the last few years, including in an MCM exercise alongside the HMS Ocean of the UK Royal Navy, and an ASW exercise and more.