19 Mei 2011

STE Progresses with USV Payload Integration

19 Mei 2011

Venus USV (photo : Navatek)

Singapore Technologies Engineering (STE) will use a second prototype of its Venus USV to test a variety of weaponry as it seeks to extend development beyond MCM capabilities, according to company officials.

Speaking to Shephard at the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) in Singapore, STE president of defence business, Thiam Beng Lau said the second 9m variant of the USV will be integrated with Oto Melara's Hitrole NT remote weapon station (RWS) comprising a .50-calibre heavy machine gun.

Lau said the company had already started integration of the RWS, adding that it was due to be completed during the second half of the year with demonstration to Singapore's armed forces by the end of 2011.

'We are in discussion with a few interested parties and are looking to secure contracts in the next two years,' Lau pledged. STE is also looking to use the second 9m prototype to integrate non-lethal weapons including water cannons as well as loud hailers.

The first 9m prototype completed sea trials in January trailing Thales MCM equipment and Lau said STE was in discussion with the Royal Singapore Navy regarding a possible acquisition strategy after it had expressed an interest in the capability.

Other members in the Venus USV family include the 11m variant which, Lau conceded, was still a 'paper design'. In addition, STE has just started development of a 16m variant, the first prototype of which would be completed by the end of the year, he concluded.

(Shephard)

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