Meggitt Training Systems Canada, the world’s leading naval target company, has conducted the world’s first large-scale ‘swarmex’ demonstration.Info on the "Barracuda" here.
The simulation of a real-world threat of swarming fast in-shore attack craft (FIACs) was designed to create a maritime self-protection training scenario for one or more naval ships.
Conducted at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt in British Columbia, the swarmex involved the simultaneous operation over seven hours of 16 Meggitt Hammerhead boat targets controlled on a single radio frequency using Meggitt’s universal target control station.
A FIAC threat arises when a hostile force fields a significant number of small lightly-armed vessels to overwhelm the defences of larger vessels or deny them access to coastal waters. Since the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, many navies have invested heavily in sensors and weapon systems to defend their vessels from such attacks. Until this swarmex demonstration, the tools did not exist to conduct live fire exercises to counter target swarms.
Live exercise planned
The swarmex demonstration, in which the Hammerhead flotilla was controlled in a safe, effective and efficient manner, is a significant technical achievement, enabling Meggitt to offer sophisticated FIAC threat replication training services worldwide. The Canadian Navy has now asked Meggitt to support a major multi-national live-fire naval exercise using Hammerhead in 2011.
Hammerhead, an advanced unmanned surface vehicle target (USV-T) with an award-winning surface-effect hull that enables it to operate at over 35 knots in high sea states, is a derivative of Meggitt’s “Barracuda” naval target. Barracuda, which has enjoyed extensive worldwide sales replicating the larger Fast Attack Craft (FAC) threat, is in service with the armed forces of Canada, Japan, Sweden, Korea and others. Like Hammerhead, Barracuda can be controlled by Meggitt’s universal target control station.
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