The UK has contracted maritime technology manufacturer ATLAS ELEKTRONIK UK to supply an additional autonomous minesweeper for the Royal Navy.
The mine countermeasures unmanned surface vehicle is adept at autonomous mine detection and neutralization. It will be delivered by the end of this year and deployed for evaluation in 2023.
The vessel will be equipped with advanced “sense and avoid” autonomy, a towed side-scan sonar, and a launch and recovery system.
With this contract, the UK has ordered a total of five ATLAS Remote Combined Influence Minesweeping Systems (ARCIMS).
“I am delighted in the Royal Navy’s decision to make further investments into the capability offered by ARCIMS, which have been delivered and supported under the UK Sweep and Wilton projects,” Wes Galliver, Head of Surface Ship Systems Division, said.
Project Wilton is a Royal Navy program established in March 2020 to launch mine-hunting and survey operations using unmanned surface vehicles.
The system will complement four existing platforms: Hussar, Halycon, Harrier, and Hazard.
ARCIMS offers next-generation mine countermeasures capability. The 11-meter (36-foot) vessel has a top speed of over 40 knots (74 kilometers per hour) and can also be used as a manned platform.
The vessel has a modular architecture and is customizable according to mission requirements. It can undertake various naval roles, including minesweeping, mine hunting tasks, mine disposal, surveillance, and diver support.
ARCIMS can be deployed rapidly by sea, air, and road-based portable command centers.
ARCIMS Naval Induction
In March 2015, ARCIMS was chosen by the Ministry of Defence for the Royal Navy’s Mine Countermeasures and Hydrographic Capability.
It completed trials in April 2018 and was inducted into the Navy in early 2020.
Apart from the UK, Atlas Elektronik has also delivered two ARCIMS to an undisclosed customer in the Middle East.