Update Provided for New Pioneer-Class USVs

The new Pioneer-class uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) from ACUA Ocean are being built with a hybrid-electric propulsion system, ready to receive either a gaseous hydrogen or a low-emission diesel powertrain By William Mackenzie / 08 Jul 2024
Update Provided for New Pioneer-Class USVs
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ACUA Ocean has revealed details around its new uncrewed surface vessels (USVs), named the Pioneer-class, with the first prototype “USV PIONEER” currently in build at Aluminium Marine Consultants (AMC) on the Isle of Wight.

The Pioneer-class USVs feature a hybrid-electric propulsion system, and are being built ready to receive either a gaseous hydrogen or a low-emission diesel powertrain, dependent on end-user specifications or mission parameters. 

The 14 meter Pioneer-class vessel has recently been granted a UK patent for the modular small water-plane twin hull (SWATH) design. This enables both modularity of build and also the deployment of modular sensor and system payloads.

In addition to the Pioneer, ACUA is developing a 24m long-endurance high-powered USV called Maelstrom. The Maelstrom is set to deliver enhanced and scalable capabilities for a range of commercial and defense customers.

ACUA state that research conducted by the University of Southampton, including wave tank testing and digital simulations, show the Pioneer-class USVs outperforming the seakeeping stability of a monohull vessel 3x its length and 10x its displacement. 

USV Pioneer’s platform stability, payload versatility, portability and scalability is set to provide users with high-quality data and operational reliability in open ocean conditions. This will reportedly be delivered at a fraction of the cost of larger crewed or autonomous platforms.

USV Pioneer is scheduled to commence sea trials in Q4 2024, whilst the Maelstrom is scheduled to enter service in 2026.

Posted by William Mackenzie Connect & Contact