Friday, December 8, 2023

Kraken, L3Harris join forces to develop submersible stealth drone

Kraken Technology Group has collaborated with L3Harris Technologies to advance the integration of control systems within the K40 MANTA uncrewed surface-subsurface vehicle (USSV) platform.

The British company believes that cooperation with L3 Harris is an important step in the technical evolution of Kraken’s K40 MANTA platform, setting the foundation for the development of enhanced autonomous capabilities and ultimately steering the USSV domain toward full autonomy. It advances the integration of control systems within the K40 MANTA.

The K40 MANTA is a high-performance USSV platform designed for rapid uncrewed surface transit of sensor or strike payloads over large distances. It utilizes foils for rapid surface transit before submerging for clandestine maneuvering.

The K40 MANTA combines the advantages of autonomous and tethered systems. This cutting-edge underwater vehicle is designed to work independently for extended periods of time with the help of loiter and sleeper modes, allowing it to remain in operational areas for longer durations. It is also equipped for electronic warfare and possesses a strike capability, enhancing its utility in various maritime operations.

Additionally, the MANTA has a substantial payload bay that can carry up to 2,205 pounds (1,000kg) and can be configured to fulfill specific roles. Its design supports up to 10 days of autonomous operations, making it highly effective for extended missions. The MANTA can be easily stored, launched, and recovered from a variety of vessels, providing versatile deployment options.

The uncrewed vessel is equipped to carry UAV loitering sensors or munitions that enhance its reconnaissance or strike capabilities. Its ISTAR data collection and distribution system is further strengthened with Electro-Optical (EO) and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) capabilities.

Moreover, the submersible stealth drone is equipped with seabed sensors and sonobuoys, which makes it an excellent asset for maritime surveillance and data gathering. K40 is available in a range of sizes, including a 12ft optionally disposable version.

This K40 MANTA requires well-established, cutting-edge control systems, and L3Harris possesses the necessary components and expertise required for seamless integration into the K40 MANTA. The integrated systems enable remote control of the uncrewed platform for various purposes, such as engineering testing, foil development, powertrain calibration, and demonstration. These purposes will be enhanced in later stages of development.

“We look forward to working with L3Harris on the implementation of key systems for K40 MANTA as a foundation for future developments,” said Mal Crease, Founder and CEO of Kraken Technology Group, in a statement.

“L3Harris is proud to collaborate with Kraken on this groundbreaking platform,” said Mark Exeter, Managing Director, ASV, L3Harris. “Our two companies possess complementary skills, benefiting both organizations through this venture. Furthermore, this collaboration paves the way for broader collaboration, capitalizing on our shared expertise and further facilitated by our proximity to Portsmouth, a renowned UK marine innovation hub.”