The US Navy is looking at Saab’s AUV62-AT submarine training platform as an interim solution ahead of any programme to replace its existing and increasingly obsolete Mk30 Mod 1 systems.
A follow on from the Mod 1 – the similarly named Mod 2 – was cancelled after several years of development leaving the service reliant on its original ageing system.
In a statement release on 9 November, Saab revealed that it would demonstrate its AUV62-AT, which uses acoustics to mimic submarine threats. The demonstration, due to take place at the US AUTEC training area, is planned for the summer, with an option to continue testing into 2019.
‘The US Navy wants a stop-gap capability,’ officials told Shephard at the Surface Navy Association symposium, adding that any ‘interim solution’ could be operated for a ‘significant amount of time’.
The USN will evaluate Saab's AUV62-AT against USN systems through the foreign comparative testing programme. Due to the classified nature of the tests, no Saab personnel will be embedded with the USN during the course of the demonstration.
Saab states that its AUV62-AT package trains operators in submarine surveillance, detection, identification, classification and target engagement.
The system replaces the use of a submarine in the role as a training target and can be launched from a ship, a submarine, or shore and is in service today with a number of countries worldwide.
In March 2017 the company announced a contract with an unnamed customer, with deliveries of the system due to run through to 2018.
Using unmanned and autonomous training systems like the AUV62-AT provides a more easily available solution to bring up crew training to a more capable level, ahead of the use of scarce and valued navy submarines at a later stage.
This in turn enables submarines to be tasked operationally, rather than being required to act as a training tool.