USV : Modern Naval Warfare Part 2
The previous article on USV (Unmanned Surface Vessels) covered various USVs around the world. In case if you missed the article, you can read at https://alphadefense.in/usv-modern-naval-warfare/. In this article, we will try to understand the concept of MRCV (Multi-Role Combat Vessels). We shall understand the role of USVs as well as the UUVs.
Towards the end of the previous article, we mentioned about the various USV plus UUV projects of a few navies around the world. The Russian Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov class frigate which includes the popular Diamond Warfare System recently concluded its testing. In addition to this the Japanese Project 30FFM and the US Navy’s latest attempt with the Spearhead class EPF are examples of this.
Apart from them even Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the UK and South Korea are also working on such projects but related to mine warfare capabilities.
MRCV as a mothership
Let us take a look into this modern concept wherein the MRCV will act as a mothership for unmanned systems.
The MRCVs will be designed for quick configuration with various mission modules. Therefore it will be able to conduct a wide range of operations with lesser downtime. The operations could be high-end warfare, security operations, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.
Role of USVs, UAVs and UUVs
The use of USVs expands the MRCV’s surveillance and influence over a larger sea surface area. UAVs as a part of the MRCV mission module will provide additional aerial surveillance coverage. This can also be linked to the recently showcased HAL’s CATS infinity pseudo satellite or the Zephyer. To know more about pseudo satellites, visit https://alphadefense.in/pseudo-satellites-cats-infinity/ .
Thus the CATS Infinity serves as the link between MRCVs, the naval air assets and even the submarines, simply put the entire battle group as well as between battle groups.
In addition to this the UUVs will assist in scanning the depths as well as detecting submarines outside the MRCV’s sonar range. Hence this serves as tremendous force multiplier. Indian Navy in collaboration with DRDO is said to be working on such UUVs according to our sources.
Use of drone controlled mine disposal systems
A tremendous boost to such systems in the field of mine warfare systems is the used of expendable mine disposal system such as the K-STER developed by ECA group in 2008. Such systems help in neutralising the mine while keeping the crew safe. The operators can control the USV from a command and control unit located outside the minefield and then deploy the mine disposal system.
Systems such as K-STER can neutralise all kinds of mines such as seabottom mines, floating mines, historical mines as well as the smartest mines. The propulsion architecture is designed to withstand strong currents and approach the mine as close as possible. It includes certain safety characteristics such as insensitive ammunition & multi-pole safety interlocks until the final firing. It has reduced acoustic and magnetic signatures.
With all that said, the future is AI driven, even naval warfare. There are no exceptions.
If you are interested to read about UCAV warfare, please visit https://alphadefense.in/understanding-ucav-warfare/ .