BAE Systems and Cellula Robotics to Run XLAUV Pilot in 2024
British defense contractor BAE Systems said it is teaming up with Canadian marine technology company Cellula Robotics to showcase the capabilities of its new extra large autonomous underwater vehicle (XLAUV), known as Herne, on a technology demonstrator in the water in the second half of 2024.
As acts of subsea aggression and threats to the underwater domain persist, autonomous platforms like XLAUVs are expected have a role in helping militaries overcome the challenge that the vast expanses of the underwater battlespace present, enabling them to monitor much larger areas without the limitations of a human crew and in a more cost-effective way.
Herne features an adaptable design that will allow the platform to be configured to conduct operations including anti-submarine warfare; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and electronic warfare.
The demonstrator project will test the ‘brains’ of the BAE Systems military XLAUV on one of Cellula Robotics’ underwater vehicles in trials set to take place next year at a facility on the south coast of England.
"This will be the first time any U.K. company will have tested its advanced autonomous capabilities in this area," said Scott Jamieson, managing director of maritime services at BAE Systems. "My aim is to create a capability that is faster, more capable, more flexible, cheaper for customers to buy and provides navies with a way to protect critical national infrastructure."
Eric Jackson, president at Cellula Robotics, said, "As we embark on this groundbreaking partnership with BAE Systems, we recognize the critical role autonomous platforms play in addressing the evolving challenges of the underwater domain. Recent subsea aggression incidents underscore the importance of safeguarding our underwater critical infrastructure."
This fast-paced demonstration will showcase BAE Systems’ advanced autonomous underwater capability in an intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance scenario.