BAE Systems and Cellula Robotics have announced a partnership to accelerate the development and demonstration of an Extra Large Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (XLAUV). The companies aim to showcase advanced autonomous behaviors in an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) scenario by September 2024. The XLAUV will be designed for military customers and offer capabilities such as anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, and electronic warfare.
The demonstration program will test the XLAUV technology package concept, which was first unveiled by BAE Systems during Euronaval 2022. The trials, scheduled for September 2024, will take place on the south coast of England using one of Cellula Robotics’ underwater vehicles. BAE Systems will integrate their Herne technology and ISR payload package onto Cellula Robotics’ Solus-XR XLAUV.
The Solus-XR XLAUV is a 12-meter-long platform with a 1.7×1.7 meter cross-section. It can be transported in a standard ISO 40′ container, making it easily deployable from port facilities without the need for auxiliary support vessels. The platform features deployable thrusters, dual buoyancy engines for hovering capabilities, and forward and aft payload bays for mission module reconfiguration.
The initial configuration of the XLAUV will focus on an ISR mission package, including electro-optical and electronic surveillance and communications systems. The vehicle will be managed by an autonomous operation mission brain with artificial intelligence (AI). The XLAUV will have an intended mission endurance of 7 to 10 days using Li-Ion batteries, but BAE Systems and Cellula Robotics are exploring longer ranges using hydrogen fuel cell and other undisclosed propulsion packages.
The collaboration between BAE Systems and Cellula Robotics aims to provide navies worldwide with a trusted militarized capability that delivers the persistence and flexibility required to defend critical infrastructure. The demonstration of the XLAUV is a crucial step in showcasing the potential of autonomous underwater vehicles for future maritime operations.
– BAE Systems
– Cellula Robotics