Russian Navy to get Containerized AUV Mission Module


An underwater system accommodated in a standard sea container is being designed for the Russian navy. It will include an unmanned craft and operator workstations for its remote control. Any warship, including the latest modular corvettes, can carry the container or it can be installed ashore. Experts believe the complex will expand the use of underwater vehicles by the Russian Navy. In particular, it will make seabed survey and mine search more efficient, the Izvestia daily writes.


The Project 20386 corvette features a modular mission bay at the stern, somewhat similar to the U.S. Navy's LCS


The Defense Ministry told the newspaper the container complex was being designed and would comprise an unmanned underwater craft and controls. It will be mounted on warships and auxiliary vessels.

The drone will be the backbone of the complex of the Klavesin family created by Rubin Design Bureau jointly with the Institute of Maritime Studies of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It is likely to be Klavesin-1R for engagement by surface ships. The container can be placed on deck of an icebreaker or a rescue vessel. Upon arrival to the site the shipboard crane would float the drone for operation.
The craft can be used for search and survey of pinpoint and long objects, seabed mapping and sounding. It has various equipment comprising side-view radars, electromagnetic finder, digital video system, acoustic surface contour recorder to search for seabed objects, and temperature and electric conductivity sensors.

The first Klavesin has been test operated in the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic to search for seabed objects and conduct shelf survey.


Rubin's Klavesin-2R-PM UUV. Picture: JSC "Central Design Bureau" Rubin "Marine Engineering


Klavesin-1R resembles a torpedo of yellow color which is close to six meters long and less than a meter in diameter. It weights two and a half tons. Drone range is up to 300 km and autonomous operation is 120 hours. The operational depth is up to 6 thousand meters.

All leading world navies are actively engaging unmanned underwater craft. Russia is a leader in the sphere, expert Vadim Kozyulin said. The drones engage in a broad range of missions. "Unmanned underwater craft can be engaged in reconnaissance, protection, fairway mine clearance, seaport defense. It is easier for them to detect adversary submarines and underwater vehicles," he said.

Sea drones are likely to be initially used in reconnaissance and mine clearance. They can also service the underwater network which is being created in the Arctic. The container complexes also have a peacetime mission to search for submerged objects, inspect pipelines and communications, Kozyulin said.

Klavesin-2R is the second generation of the family and is bigger and heavier than the predecessor. It will hardly fit into a container. Nuclear submarines are likely to carry it. Such craft will likely be installed on upgraded nuclear submarines of project 949AM and reequipped special-designation nuclear submarine BS-64 the Podmoskovye, the Izvestia writes.


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