Monday, January 26, 2015

Update on ST Electronics Venus Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs)

These harbour craft may look like ordinary, 9-metre long powerboats. But take a close look at the weather-proof covers draped over the "cabins" of each vessel and the antennae sprouting from the mast and you'll realise these vessels are somewhat special.

The Venus unmanned surface vessels, SR3008B and SR3096A, were photographed at a local marina stored alongside civilian powerboats and sailboats.

Unveiled in 2010 by Singapore Technologies Electronics (ST Elec), the Venus USV has been described in company literature as being adaptable for a range of missions. These include anti-submarine warfare, mine sweeping and harbour security duties armed with a remotely operated weapons mount.

When stored in the marina, both USVs were unarmed. However, the deck configuration for each USV was different as SR3008B was fitted with a frame aft of the sensor mast.

Background note: Categories of Singapore harbour craft licences

Harbour craft licences are issued by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to vessels used for commercial purposes within the port.
The following categories of licence are issued:
"SA" if the vessel is used as a "bumboat" (i.e. dealing in the sale and purchase of new or second hand goods)
"SB" if the vessel is used for the carriage in bulk of petroleum, liquefied gases, liquid chemicals or vegetable/animal oils
"SC" if  the vessel is used for the carriage of dry or packaged goods
"SP" if the vessel is used for the carriage of passengers
"ST" if the vessel is used as a tug. A vessel whose engine shaft power is less than 150 kilowatt (200 BHP)  will not be accepted for licensing as a tug.
"SR" if  the vessel is used for any other purpose. ST Elec's Venus USVs are classed under the "SR" license category.
Unmanned naval assets came under the media spotlight recently when the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) deployed Hydroid Inc's REMUS 100 autonomous underwater vehicles in the Java Sea during the search for the AirAsia Flight QZ8501. REMUS is an acronym for Remote Environmental Measuring Units.


Adrian Tan said...

This marina you write of, is it the one before NDU?

D-Boy said...

Your article is as insightful as always. I assume these USVs were used as a technology test bed by ST and not operational use by the RSN. Any information if the Protector USVs are still in service?

David Boey said...

Hi Adrian, It's the one before CNB. =)

Unknown said...

all the crafts shall be stored in a secured location and out of sight of the public.

now the location is exposed!


earlyfalloutboy said...

Unknown, I think you missed the part that said "unveiled in 2010" so it is not secret and the explanation of MPA registration numbers so they are civilian craft.