and ASV Sign Agreement to Develop Autonomous USV Technology and Capability
After successful trials on Halcyon Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV), Thales
and ASV strengthen their partnership. Both companies have signed an
agreement to develop autonomous Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) technology
and capability for maritime, civil, security and military domains.
Thales is a global
technology leader with a unique capability to design and deploy equipment,
systems and services to meet customer’s operational requirements.
ASV, an agile Small and Medium-sized enterprise (SME) with 60 employees
spread across the UK and USA, has specialised expertise and experience
in USV design, build, operation and maintenance.
This agreement, which builds on the strong existing relationship and
the combined skills and expertise of the two companies, provides world
leading, innovative solutions for autonomous maritime requirements.
Successful trials on Halcyon USV
The collaboration has already successfully delivered the innovative
Halcyon USV, a key asset of the French - UK Maritime Mine Counter
Measures programme (MMCM1). Designed and built by ASV, it provides
high speed transit, stability, manoeuvrability and endurance. When
enhanced with Thales’s mission and autonomy management systems,
Halcyon provides a highly capable and cost effective platform for
the deployment of payloads for a wide range of maritime, civil, security
and military applications.
A recent success is the support provided by Thales, with their partners
ASV and SeeByte, to the UK’s Defence Science and Technology
Laboratory (DSTL) in the demonstration of a robust autonomous Mine
Counter Measures (MCM) system through a collaborative systems approach.
This was part of The Technical Cooperation Programme (TTCP), a multi-national
forum for defence, science and technology.
Halcyon, fitted with Thales’s mission management system and
integrated with the ASView control system, operated collaboratively
in the trials to demonstrate reliable autonomous operations involving
complex behaviours in a range of scenarios and sea state conditions.
These trials completed operator planned missions controlled from a
remote operations centre, providing operator oversight and control
a communications link. It also showed how a USV can work autonomously
with a multi-national squad of Unmanned Underwater
(UUVs). These successful trials represent a major milestone in Thales’s
roadmap to deliver robust autonomous USV operations. The two companies
are collaborating on the delivery of the French – UK
Mine Countermeasures (MMCM) contract, a programme which is key to
the transformation of mine countermeasures capabilities and the future
operational use of unmanned naval systems.