A £32-million contract to provide cutting-edge autonomous mine-hunting systems to the Royal Navy has been awarded to Atlas Elektronik UK in Dorset.

Building on the Integrated Review, the three sets of Medium Autonomous Underwater Vessel (MAUV) systems will “help to ensure Royal Navy personnel can combat the rapidly evolving threat of naval mines”.

“The new technology will also help maintain the freedom of movement for UK ships and submarines when defending the UK at sea. Creating 50 highly-skilled jobs in the UK and a further 23 jobs across Europe, the contract will enable a significant technological leap for the Royal Navy. The systems will help detect and neutralise mines quickly while being controlled remotely by operators either at sea or on land.”

The systems will work with the below vessels.

UK orders three autonomous minesweeping vessels

Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said:

“This innovative technology is a huge leap forward for the Royal Navy and will be crucial to protecting the security and safety of our personnel. Supporting wider British industry, it also reinforces our focus on ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of tackling defence threats.”

Supporting other autonomous assets, including the joint FR/UK Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) and Combined Influence Sweep (SWEEP) systems, the MAUVs will become part of a “system of systems” that will enable the Royal Navy to search, detect and neutralise mines from a remote distance while on operations worldwide.

Commander Neil Griffiths Royal Navy, Commander Mine Threat Exploitation Group, said:

“This is another exciting step as we move from conventional Mine Counter Measures to a system of integrated capabilities. This new capability is quicker, provides greater precision and will put the latest technology in the hands of our sailors, reinforcing their reputation as some of the best MCM practitioners in the world.”

The contract was negotiated by the Mine Hunting Capability (MHC) team at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the procurement arm of the MoD.

The first MAUV equipment delivery is expected in Spring 2023.

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. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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farouk
farouk
1 day ago

Defence Equipment & Support have knocked out a animated tweet which encapsulates everything into 30 secs

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
18 hours ago
Reply to  farouk

From there graphic they have a bay class in the background. Is this what the type 32 is going to be working with or is there some other kind of purpose built motherships going to be made.

Martin
Martin
18 hours ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Idea is for T32 but also T26 to be able to deploy.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
22 hours ago

Off-topic but a very interesting development.

“BAE Systems has switched the major power generation upgrade for the UK Royal Navy (RN) Type 45 air-defence destroyer HMS Dragon from the Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead to its own facilities in Portsmouth Naval Base.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/naval-weapons/latest/bae-systems-brings-hms-dragon-pip-conversion-to-portsmouth

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
19 hours ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I don’t have janes. So is that all the ships will now be done at Portsmouth? Wonder what cammel laird will have for work now.

David Steeper
David Steeper
18 hours ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Doesn’t need much reading between the lines with that announcement. Shot across the bows for Cammel Laird about future orders. For everyones sake hope they get there act together.

Sonik
Sonik
15 hours ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Laird’s obviously have plenty of their own issues, but IIRC they were complaining that BAE, as the T45 design authority, had not been very forthcoming with the required documentation & technical support etc. for the PIP, so Laird’s were unable to progress the works. Who knows what the truth is, most likely there are issues on both sides, but perhaps the plan for BAE to complete a PIP on their own is so they can work out & fully document the process and thus eliminate any finger pointing by whoever is chosen to complete the work on the remaining ships.

James Fennell
James Fennell
18 hours ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Doubling up to complete faster – two can be done at once.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
13 hours ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Is that what they are doing? 1 at each yard?

Deep32
Deep32
22 hours ago

And we are scrapping/selling how many minehunters/Sweepers to gain these 3 AMHS, which will still need people and vessels to transport them around, as well as launch/recover and maintain them? So, not really as autonomous as they state then!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
19 hours ago
Reply to  Deep32

Unmanned and autonomous does sound great but I have my doubts. Not of the capabilities but of the thought that u pop it in the water and off it goes. Things break just ask an engineer. If normal ships need many crew to keep them at sea what’s changed that now these can go about with no one on board for long periods. I see them as a compliment not a replacement for manned stuff.

Callum
Callum
2 hours ago
Reply to  Deep32

Remember that those minesweepers are being replaced by a combination of new frigates and at some stage motherships.

The autonomous aspect doesn’t mean no manpower, but it does enable that manpower to influence a far greater area. A single mothership or frigate could potentially generate as many sweeps as a a squadron of traditional MCMVs while risking effectively zero personnel.

Deep32
Deep32
2 hours ago
Reply to  Callum

That’s the idea I believe. which is a total waste of a frigate whether it’s lightly/more heavily armed. We are lacking in escort vessels for all manner of tasking, so using them to transport and watch over these drones doesn’t really make to much sense. Using a Bay as a mother ship is just as mad.
If however, we built a few purpose designed ‘motherships’ along the lines of the Dutch ones, then absolutely fine you could then probably live with the loss of the sweepers.

Simon
Simon
21 seconds ago
Reply to  Deep32

Agreed, just seem to be a huge waste of resources