There is no need for human captain on high-speed pilotless cutter
About a year ago, Belarus made a powerful technological breakthrough, rivalling the progress of superpowers in introducing its first pilotless aircraft: Sterkh-BM. Success is now being consolidated, with a pre-production multi-purpose marine model being presented at Tsnyanskoye Reservoir, near Minsk. It is the first such within the CIS
By Marina Ivanova
The project is the result of international co-operation by companies from Belarus, Russia and China, with the Shanghai Organisation of Co-operation giving particular support. Work was divided equally, with a Russian company making and designing the craft, using innovative polymeric materials supplied by China. Belarusian Kvand Intelligent Systems LLC provided the software and a system of automatic control for the pilotless vessel.
The new craft uses modern technologies of composite shipbuilding, providing high operational characteristics, suiting its operation in even the most harsh of conditions. The developers assert that mass production is possible for the high-speed pilotless cutter, which is designed for use in patrolling harbours and similar sites, providing visual and hydro-acoustic data, as well as ecological monitoring. It can be used in rescue operations and in security work, such as clearing mines and detecting submarines. The vessel is barely 6m in length and 2m wide and is designed to have extra equipment attached. While being an independent system, it has automatic, semi-automatic and manual control settings and can operate even 360km from the coast, over a period of 120 hours, using a satellite data link. Its maximum speed is 55 knots.
Negotiations with two countries have begun, to discuss terms of sale.