16 June 2020 – Underwater obstacle avoidance technology from maritime defence and security specialist Sonardyne International Ltd. has been chosen for a new design diver delivery unit (DDU) being built by SubSea Craft.
Sonardyne’s Vigilant forward looking sonar (FLS) will provide a critical hazard avoidance capability for the crew and embarked divers of the VICTA Class DDU when navigating on or below the surface.
Using a compact and sophisticated bow-mounted transducer arrangement, Vigilant FLS displays water depth, sub-surface obstacles and features by creating an accurate 3D model of the underwater environment. The model is displayed relative to the underwater vehicle or surface vessel it’s fitted to, overlaid on standard charts in real-time, providing operators with a detailed topographical image of their route ahead.
Vigilant FLS provides this easy to interpret 3D bathymetry out to 600 m over a 90° field of view, as well as automated warnings of unseen collision hazards out to 1.5 km, supporting safe navigation for mariners, underwater vehicle pilots and unmanned surface and subsea systems.
SubSea Craft’s VICTA Class DDU offers the speed and endurance of a long-range insertion craft with the stealth and capacity of a swimmer delivery vehicle. It can travel up to 250 nautical miles (nm) at speeds of up to 40 knots on the surface, whilst submerged it cruises at 6 knots, with a ‘sprint’ capability of 8 knots, for up to 25 nm to deploy and recover up to eight operatives (two crew and six divers) to their objective area mission-ready.
“Being able to detect – at range – navigation hazards, before they become a real threat, is mission-critical to the sort of operations likely to feature in VICTA’s playbook,” says Tim Chicken, SubSea Craft’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Vigilant is the solution. With Vigilant integrated into VICTA, complete with its easy to use, intuitive graphic user interface, pilots can visualise the environment ahead to navigate safely and avoid obstacles ensuring safe insertion and recovery of operators, regardless of the mission. As VICTA is designed around the operator, Vigilant was the ideal solution.”
“Vigilant FLS offers naval forces with unprecedented subsurface situational awareness with unrivalled range,” says Ioseba Tena, Global Business Manager for Marine Robotics and Defence at Sonardyne. “With Vigilant integrated into VICTA, complete with its easy to use, intuitive graphic user interface, pilots can visualise the environment ahead to navigate safely and avoid obstacles ensuring safe insertion and recovery of operators, regardless of the mission. Quite simply, it provides a tactical advantage for their operations.”
Photo courtesy Sonardyne