Saab has presented its remotely operated vehicle (ROV), Sea Wasp, at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition in National Harbor, Maryland.
Sea Wasp, which relocates, identifies and neutralizes underwater improvised explosive devices (IEDs), is designed to combat below-the-surface terrorism.
The company said it worked with the U.S. Underwater Hazardous Device Response Community to adapt the ROV for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) purposes and procedures.
“Sea Wasp is a hybrid of pre-existing Saab technologies that can now be applied to an urgent worldwide need,” said Bert Johansson, Sales Director Underwater Systems within Saab business area Dynamics. “Underwater EOD is a rapidly growing niche around the world, and Sea Wasp’s capabilities correspond to that niche.”
Today, most underwater IED threats are disposed of manually by trained EOD divers. According to Saab, the Sea Wasp is operated remotely by two-person teams, allowing for a safe distance between operators and IEDs.
To test the vehicle, Saab has partnered with the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) in providing Sea Wasp prototypes to three EOD agencies: the U.S. Navy EOD Group 2, the FBI Counter-IED Unit, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s Counter-Terrorist Operations Maritime Response Unit.
All three agencies have received Sea Wasp training and the vehicle will be further tested over the next 10 to 12 months.
“The U.S. unmanned underwater vehicle market is very important for Saab,” said Jon Kaufmann, Vice President of Naval Programmes with Saab North America. “Our goal with Sea Wasp is to meet U.S. national security needs with an underwater, anti-IED device that keeps EOD teams safe.”