BAE Systems is collaborating with Cellula Robotics on the forthcoming launch of its Extra Large Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (XLAUV) named Herne.

Scheduled for a technology demonstration next year, the vehicle will take to the waters in the latter half of 2024, with trials set on the south coast of England.

Recent incidents highlighting the strategic importance of sub-sea security underscore the potential value of autonomous platforms like Herne. Such vehicles could offer the military the ability to monitor vast underwater areas without human crew constraints, delivering surveillance in a more cost-effective manner.

BAE Systems envisions the Herne as a flexible platform, adaptable for various operations, including anti-submarine warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare.

Commenting on the development, Scott Jamieson, Managing Director of Maritime Services at BAE Systems, stated, “This will be the first time any UK company will have tested its advanced autonomous capabilities in this area and I am excited to be working with Cellula Robotics.” He further emphasised the goal of providing a system that is “faster, more capable, more flexible, [and] cheaper for customers”.

Eric Jackson, President at Cellula Robotics Ltd, highlighted the vital role autonomous platforms have in ensuring the security of underwater domains. Reflecting on recent sub-sea disturbances, Jackson reiterated the significance of protecting underwater infrastructure. “We are thrilled to collaborate with BAE Systems and look forward to the demonstration, setting the course for a future of enhanced underwater security and intelligence,” he said.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago

So how it communicates? launches a buoy?

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

They will use some form of psychic machine to organic mind interface…….whoops sorry that was the SF book I was reading.

Tommo
Tommo
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Semaphore oh it’s Autonomous doesn’t have hands on board

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Can I borrow it?

Jim
Jim
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

It’s autonomous so it does not need to communicate.

taffybadger
taffybadger
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It will if its tracking or doing ISR, no point having intel if it can’t transmit at some point

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim

No need to say it detected a submarine?
No need to receive orders to change its mission because tactical situation changed?

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It really does Jim..it needs to report what it finds.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Did someone just say mouse?

Ian
Ian
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Website just says “Robust and secure communication packages sit at the core of the design to enable effective communication with the host platform”- so either they’re being cagey about it or they still haven’t solved the problem. They do have some know-how in ‘underwater acoustic communications’ (which presumably means SONAR rather than just shouting underwater).

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Yes, sonar is possible but it will not be long range and it will have a significant delay, sound in water is not light speed. It needs a directional antenna or various fixed ones, needs to be constantly informed of the mothership position.

Jon
Jon
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

You can play the same beamforming trick to get directionality with sonar as you do with radar.

simon alexander
simon alexander
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

the right question. AI is not on the right pay grade to launch a torpedo without communication

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
6 months ago

Ai boring

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

No it’s a girl

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

She will go crazy without a phone

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

I wonder if pads could be set. On the cables so vehicles can charge and communicate through the cables

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago

It’s good that we are getting these options for effective large scale surveillance of all our undersea infrastructure. It means the manned capabilities can be focused more on the effector end of the process.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

Love that name, a nod to Herne the Hunter, himself likely to be Cernunnoss of Gallic fame.

Jim
Jim
6 months ago

It’s way better than Jackdaw from QinetiQ. 😀

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Should have named that one Scavanger! The old name for Protector.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
6 months ago

Proteus and Herne the Hunter ? Wonder what sort of Mushrooms have on their Breakfast each morning.
Whats next a future MBT called Project Gandalf ? Wait that makes complete sense as he loved killing Orcs 🤔

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

😁

Jon
Jon
6 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I liked the US JEDI cloud computer system, but they cancelled it. At least the man in the cloak said, nothing to see here; move along. So it must be cancelled, right?

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I quite like his sword, Orcist, i.e. the Goblin Cleaver!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

HMS Orc Cleaver!

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
6 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Wonder whether the sentient Orcs have developed a real distaste for the collected works of J.R.R. Tolkien? Should advise them to peruse “The Return of the King,” but that might spoil the surprise…🤔😳😉

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Whirly boom boom would of been better than jackdaw

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
6 months ago

Beat me to it. One of the best of the Robin Hood genre as well😏

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 months ago

Everydays a school day on here. I must of missed that lesson at school.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Quite obscure some of that to be fair. I like Celtic, Norse mythology.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
6 months ago

Sorry but this stuff really floats my boat (no pun intended), basically this is a small unmanned submarine packed with sensors and powered by lithium batteries or even some small form of AIP. No sound, no crew so nothing to betray it’s presence.
Pre programmed search area, threat analysis and surveillance.
Yep interesting times we live in.

DH
DH
6 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

ABC, do you think this is the type of Usub to eqip type 31’s.future ops??
👍

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
6 months ago
Reply to  DH

To be honest other than possibly being used for ASW I’ve never seen the sense in using a Frigate as a Mothership for anything other than guns, missiles and helicopters. It is just a nonsense idea, when the job can be done by far cheaper ships than an irreplaceable frigate. But given the scant details available this has MROSS written all over it. A small fleet of 3 / 4 relatively cheap, RFA crewed, robust, reliable, flexible, OTS, offshore type support vessels. All operating a few if these each can cover a hell of a lot of sea. If you… Read more »

DH
DH
6 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

And of course T31’s inability, apart from the hello, to persecute sub surface targets should the need arise? Don’t get me wrong, we need T31’s yesterday and T32’s are a mystery at the moment.
🤔👌

DH
DH
6 months ago
Reply to  DH

And the MROSS name…… Herne Bay. 👍

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Hi ABC, I could see a scenario where a number of these AV’s are put into an area as a sensor blockade (a.g. GIUK Gap) or around vulnerable offshore infrastructure. They could be ‘placed’ by a mixed force of MROSS and / or T31 depending on the threat levels in the area of interest. The UV’s would in effect provide a senor network greatly improving detection chances and the ability to build an accurate underwater battlespace picture using data fusion across multiple senors. The T31 could then launch its Wildcat based on information recieved from the AV’s and attack the… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
6 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Perhaps pair w/ a T-26 and/or an Astute, especially if there are multiple contacts/bogeys? The choices for nefarious sub commander(s) would be stark: flee, surrender or fight and die. 🤔😳

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
6 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Specifically for the GIUK Gap or offshore infrastructure scenarios. Probably another generation (or two) of tech required before incorporation w/in CSG. Hmmm… precisely one of the AUKUS Pillar 2 programmes. Interesting…🤔😳😉

ExMarine
ExMarine
6 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Isn’t SOSUS and the newer DRAPES doing that already? Wouldn’t the UK be better off putting some of those type of devices in the area where subsea cables are vulnerable. It must be a waste of money developing autonomous drones that have to be sent out specifically to check/detect for Russian/Chinese subs when a permanent installation is there 247/365. The US system, DRAPES, like SOSUS, will be a fixed passive listening system with a new communications capability to transmit its data. Mobile systems like HERNE have the advantage of being able to get closer to possible contacts and follow them,… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 months ago
Reply to  ExMarine

Hi ExMarine, I was using the GIUK Gap as an example there are many other choke points around the world that cannot be covered by US / NATO systems. I should have been clearer in my post. There is also the possibility the the Russians would be able to ‘interfere’ with DRAPES in time of war – not sure how deep DRAPES is but modern ROV’s can get do to the Hood / Bismark so beyond technical capabilities to go hunting for fixed systems (I assume DRAPES is fixed..?). Obviously, the position of the data cables for those systems would… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Only up to a point it seems mate, There was a post with a link to a youtube video recently on here. The link was to a former USN submariner’s youtube channel. He was talking about an exercise he was involved in, in which his sub was ‘attacking’ a USN / NATO CSG. They made two runs on the CSG and wiped it out both times. In the end the Admiral in command ordered them to give away their position so the escorts could at least practice localising and attacking the subs. He reconned the only asset the surface force… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

If it doesn’t want to be found it’s hard to find. Even hearing something still needs to be investigated and tracked from multiple positions to triangulate where it is.
Then subs can hide around noisy vessels etc. Hiding in water layers. What a nightmare

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
6 months ago

Drones, motherships boring, boring

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

You’re going to be very bored going forward then mate. This is the future.

Airborne
Airborne
6 months ago

“Extra large underwater drone” I didn’t realise Diane Abbott has outsourced her useless carcass in a new employment venture! Well she is shit as a politician so let her try this!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Jesus Christ….if she ever gets near a ministerial position….

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
6 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Hey she’s not totally useless. she was ok partner to Portillo on this week program. 🤦🏼‍♂️