Indian company Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) unveiled a model of its autonomous underwater vehicle, AUV swarm system at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition, LIMA 2023 being held from 23 to 27 May in Malaysia.
The concept is to enhance the Indian Navy mine countermeasures capabilities (MCM). Operating as a swarm, the AUVs will comprise three units. The first will act as the master AUV, with two slaved systems; the second will operate as a mine locator; and the third as a mine neutraliser. The master AUV will establish communication between the AUVs and the surface mother ship and will direct the slaved AUVs in operations.
The AUVs are powered by two 44 kWh batteries and have a length of 1.8 m, a diameter of 251.79 mm, and weigh 60 kg. The AUVs will be able to operate at a speed of 4 kt for up to four hours and will have a payload capacity of 7 kg. The AUVs will be capable of operating up to a maximum depth of 60 m. MDL said the AUVs will be capable of launch and recovery from Indian Navy surface ships and submarine torpedo tubes.
MDL is developing the AUV swarm drones concept under the Indian government’s Innovations For Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative, which is aligned with Indian Navy MCM requirements.