Israeli navy tests unmanned sonar mine-sweeping vessel

May 15 (UPI) — The Israeli Navy successfully deployed its Seagull unmanned surface vessel in exercises earlier this month, Elbit Systems announced.

Working with Greece’s navy, the vessel employed its HELRAS “dipping” sonar, mounted beneath the hull of the unmanned ship. The deployment came three months after the Israeli Navy accepted the ship’s Sea Acceptance Test.

Unveiled at the Singapore Airshow 2016, the vessel can conduct mine counter-measures involving the detection, categorization, localization, recognition and neutralization of seabed, tied up and floating naval mines.

The vessel can also be deployed in anti-submarine warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, electronic warfare maritime security and hydrography missions.

The Seagull, designed and manufactured by Israeli defense company Elbit Systems, is a 40-foot aluminum and composite boat usable in manned or unmanned situations, with a sonar system several feet below the hull. The diesel-powered vessel can launch expendable mine disposal vehicles to clear mines, and is equipped with torpedoes and a 12.7mm machine gun. It can continuously operate on the sea for up to four days.

Completion of the exercise was announced on Tuesday.

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