Israel Aerospace Industries and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK Unveil Joint Development Integrated in the BlueWhale Uncrewed Submarine

ATLAS ELEKTRONIK CEO Michael_Ozegowski and IAI ELTA GM Eyal Shapira during the BlueWhale Launch

Israel Aerospace Industries and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, a company of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, on May 10th, officially launched their latest joint development for advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missions at the Undersea Defense Technology (UDT) Conference and Exhibition in Rostock, Germany.

In a festive ceremony at ELTA’s exhibition booth, Eyal Shapira, Vice President and General Manager of ELTA’s division for Air Defense and Naval Systems, and Michael Ozegowski, Chief Executive Officer of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, unveiled the joint development, demonstrating an important milestone in the long-standing partnership between thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and the Israeli industry.

Based on ELTA’s sophisticated BlueWhale autonomous underwater multi-mission platform, a large uncrewed underwater vehicle with a wide range of advanced sensor systems, the system incorporates ATLAS ELEKTRONIK’s unique, towed passive sonar triplet array. In contrast to existing towed sonars, the combined system is designed to function at depths traditionally exploited by submarines to avoid detection. A transmitter developed by ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, deployed from an autonomous or crewed surface vessel, enables the bistatic location and tracking of submarine targets by BlueWhale ASW. IAI is a pioneer in the field of uncrewed systems in the air, land, space and sea domains. The world’s first uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) was developed by IAI for the Israel Defense Forces. During recent decades, IAI became a leader for robotic ground systems, uncrewed vessels, loitering munitions and more. The BlueWhale ASW platform has been successfully tested for thousands of diving hours, performing a wide range of missions, including ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance), EW/ESM (Electronic Warfare Support Measures) and MCM (Mine Countermeasures).

2AEThe autonomous uncrewed BlueWhale ASW submarine

During the presentation of BlueWhale ASW at UDT, Michael Ozegowski, Chief Executive Officer of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, highlighted the excellent partnership between the two companies spanning decades: “The joint development of BlueWhale ASW demonstrates once again the long-standing and trusting cooperation between German and Israeli naval industry partners. In close collaboration with ELTA, we developed a state-of-the-art system solution enabling high-impact ASW operations with minimum infrastructure requirements. The ATLAS ELEKTRONIK towed passive sonar triplet array and advanced transmitter solution is optimized for long-endurance autonomous operations. A solution that meets operational needs and capabilities in an efficient and cost-effective way.”

Eyal Shapira, Vice President and General Manager of ELTA’s division for Air Defense and Naval Systems, said: “This new joint development is a result of the close relationship between IAI ELTA and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, and between Germany and Israel. BlueWhale ASW will rely on ELTA’s extensive experience in the realm of machine learning and AIdriven autonomous systems together with the company’s advanced payloads, including AESA radars, SIGINT systems and secure, long-range communication systems. Highly developed, on-board processing ensures that the incoming intelligence data is exploited in a timely and efficient manner.”

The ATLAS ELEKTRONIK towed sonar array incorporates the company’s legacy of more than 100 years in the design, development and production of naval systems. It is based on the company’s proven ACTAS (Active Towed Array Sonar) platform, a deep-water sonar system originally designed for surface vessel deployment. The system utilizes a low frequency sonar system that facilitates excellent area coverage while maintaining high sensitivity at depths previously beyond the reach of conventional sonar systems.

Technical specifications of BlueWhale ASW:

  • Length: 10.9 m
  • Diameter: 1.12 m
  • Weight: 5.5 t
  • Endurance: 10 – 30 days (depending on the mission)
  • Speed, operational: 2 – 3 knots, max. 7 knots (submerged)
  • Depth rating capability: 300 m

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