IAI Presents its First Autonomous Submarine BlueWhale
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) presented the BlueWhale, an autonomous underwater vessel with a length of 10.9 meters and a beam of 1.12 meters. The BlueWhale displaces 5.5 tons and can move on the water at 2 to 3 knots, increasing to 7 knots in navigating immersion. According to the designer company, the BlueWhale autonomous submarine is capable of carrying out a significant part of the operations currently carried out by manned submarines in Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).
The unmanned submarine is intended for intelligence-gathering operations, detecting other submarines and collecting acoustic information. The vessel is equipped with radar and electro-optical systems installed on a telescopic mast and sonar equipment -including a towed sonar, a bow sonar and a lateral sonar- both for the detection of other submarines and surface vessels. The submarine will also map the seabed and the location of possible naval mines.
The data collected by onboard sensors is transmitted by a satellite communications antenna mounted on the mast in real time. This allows them to inform other navy ships or to control the submarine.