During the ARMY 2018 International Military-Technical Forum, Russian Rostec state corporation has introduced a new unmanned underwater vehicle called Nerpa. The most interesting feature of this UUV is definitely its armament. The Nerpa UUV is armed with an APS underwater rifle mounted upside down under the drone. This underwater drone is the result of the collaboration between TsNIITochMash and a company called MAKO.
The Nerpa UUV is designed to be used for protecting the bridges, ports, ships and other navy objects against the enemy divers. Currently, the companies are working on integrating the weapon system with the drone. Alternatively, this vehicle can be also loaded with explosives and used as a suicide drone. Reportedly, the large-scale extensive testing of Nerpa UUV will start at the end of the current year.
The idea of this underwater drone is definitely interesting. As in the case of many other unmanned vehicles, one of the main advantages of this one can also be patrolling the mentioned objects for extended periods of time that would be impossible or troublesome to accomplish with divers especially in extreme climate and temperature conditions. Mounting the APS rifle, designing an aiming system and making it fire should be a relatively easy task for the designers. Probably, what will be harder to design is the mechanism of reloading the weapon and clearing the malfunctions. I assume that it may have a different, higher capacity feeding mechanism or could be fed from standard APS magazines with no reloading mechanism.
So far, this is the only information available on the Nerpa UUV. We’ll be watching the development of this drone and reporting the news to our readers. Stay tuned!
Belousov V. (2018, August 22). “В РОССИИ РАЗРАБОТАЛИ ПЕРВЫЙ В МИРЕ ПОДВОДНЫЙ БЕСПИЛОТНИК С АВТОМАТОМ” RIA Novosti. Retrieved from: https://ria.ru/arms/20180821/1526952109.html
Shaykhutdinov A. (2018, August 21). “Ростех показал прототип подводного противодиверсионного робота на “Армии-2018” “. TASS Russian News Agency. Retrieved from: http://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/5475917
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