Navantia, SAES, and Perseo have announced during the FEINDEF (defence and security exhibition) their intention to develop a line of unmanned underwater vehicles equipped with state-of-the-art sensors to deploy exploration and surveillance capabilities in increasingly demanding operational theatres.
Navantia has launched a roadmap to incorporate a range of solutions based on unmanned vehicles (UXV) into its product catalogue, aiming to cover the full spectrum of missions to be executed in different domains: naval, aerial, and land, where these platforms provide tactical superiority. This roadmap is part of the company’s Horizon 5.0, a long-term plan through which Navantia aims to strengthen its systems business as a core activity alongside shipbuilding, intelligent services, and green energies.
In the submarine domain, SAES, a leading company in underwater acoustics and electronics with nearly 35 years of experience in developing technologies in this field, positions itself as one of the main national players to provide tactical and mission capabilities to unmanned vehicles (UXVs) based on its expertise in sonar technology, underwater communications, and operational concepts for various missions. SAES, whose essence and strategy are summarised in its new brand “innovate, develop, and protect”, approaches this field from two perspectives: collaborating in their development to make them truly autonomous and using them in conjunction with other proprietary systems to provide submarine defence solutions within the scope of its business lines.
Perseo Techworks, a Spanish company specialising in UXV, numerical simulation, onboard electronics, rapid prototyping, additive manufacturing, IoT, and artificial intelligence, has extensive knowledge and experience in the sector, participating in various European projects and R&D+i at the national level.
SAES and Perseo, together with Abance Ingeniería y Servicios, Arisnova, and Eolos Floating Lidar Solutions, participate in the E-PARK+ project, led by Navantia, which seeks to develop solutions for digitising the operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms using unmanned vehicles alongside other industry companies.
At FEINDEF, a UUV prototype with distinctive features that would allow it to cover a multitude of missions has been exhibited. This first approach is focused on its use in mine countermeasure (MCM) missions, although its possible application as an advanced sensor or loitering munition is being studied based on the same development and with few modifications. Donato Martínez Pérez de Rojas, Technologies and Digital Transformation Director and Systems and Services Director at Navantia, Joaquín López Pagán, President and CEO of SAES, and Sergio Olmos Guío, CEO of Perseo Techworks, have expressed their commitment to collaborate in promoting innovation in the field of autonomous underwater vehicles. “Unmanned vehicles are an asset of growing importance for the armed forces and civilian applications. Navantia already has experience in the development of unmanned surface vessels (USV), and together with SAES and Perseo, we want to expand our catalogue to those intended for the submarine domain,” said Donato Martínez.
According to SAES President Joaquín López Pagán, “at SAES, we are committed to the development of sustainable technologies in the naval sector. Our experience in underwater acoustics and electronics positions us as one of the main players in providing autonomy to unmanned vehicles and collaborating in their development to make them truly autonomous. Moreover, as they do not require human crew members, these vehicles are a safer and more economical option for carrying out defence missions and civilian applications.”
“The development of unmanned systems requires specific technologies and working methodologies for competitive developments. Perseo Techworks works on these enabling technologies within a work scheme that allows for rapid iterations, in which simulation, rapid prototyping, and testing and trial capabilities are intertwined to create products with very short development times and adaptable to a constantly changing market,” says Sergio Olmos Guío.