German shipbuilder and defence technology company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has unveiled plans to develop a new large unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) with trials scheduled to commence in 2024.
The vessel will be a demonstrator craft with a modular design that will allow the installation of mission-specific payloads. In addition to being used for maritime security missions, the craft will also be capable of scientific research and ocean exploration.
TKMS said the UUV will also be fitted with an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system similar to what is being used by a number of diesel-electric submarines in service with some countries’ navies. The AIP system, which will consist of lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, will allow the craft to reach depths of 5,000 metres and to stay submerged for longer periods.
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