Israel presents its new underwater drone, the BlueWhale

Alfredo Estirado, CEO of TRC, responsible for the Cervus III drone detection system, had already anticipated it: the field of drones will extend from the air to the land and the seas. Now the company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), responsible for one of the armed drones most used by the Israeli army, showed its advanced maritime solutions, including the BlueWhale autonomous submarine.

The BlueWhale, an unmanned submarine developed by Israel, conducts covert intelligence gathering operations, detecting submarines and collecting acoustic intelligence using radar and electro-optical systems. Has a length of 10.9 meters, 1.12 m in diameter, weighs 5.5 tons and is capable of operating up to 300 m deep.

On board it has an AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar, electro-optical/infrared cameras, sonars, magnetic sensors and SATCOM communications to facilitate the multiple missions for which it has been designed.

BlueWhale (an extra large unmanned underwater vehicle or XLUUV) appears to be a more advanced version of the Caesaron autonomous underwater vehiclewhich was developed for the Israeli Navy and revealed by the Ministry of Defense in 2017. It is an autonomous submarine that can perform some of the missions of manned submarines, without the need for operators on board.

The unmanned underwater system could best described as an “underwater force multiplier”, according to authorities. BlueWhale is the first of its kind in the world to be developed and can be a game-changer on the future battlefield.

Can operate for several weeks at a time and has minimal operating costs. With the “autonomous submarine system” BlueWhale, it offers navies new operational possibilities for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Mine Countermeasure (MCM) and Intelligence and Surveillance and Reconnaissance Missions (ISR).

BlueWhale can also take advantage of EO/IR (electro-optical and infrared) sensors and geolocation capabilities to detect and provide the precise location of all threats and potential ground targets. The unmanned underwater system can send via SATCOM all the information necessary to prepare the mission.