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Zycraft Independent Unmanned Surface Vehicle (IUSV)

Zycraft Vigilant combines speed, payload, and endurance

Singapore-based Zycraft is offering unique high speed remotely-operated independent unmanned surface vehicles (IUSV) for high endurance maritime missions.

James Soon, president of Zycraft, says the IUSV is big enough to operate independently for up to 30 days. Because ultra-strong, lightweight carbon nanotube composite materials are used throughout the boat, there’s weight margin to carry a large supply of fuel – 5 ½ tons of it, representing 40 percent of the weight when fully loaded — for the two Yanmar diesels, which generate 480 HP and 370 KW each, with a total of 960 HP available. The hull’s three-ply composite with a honeycomb core construction provides additional buoyancy.

 “The IUSV is designed for open ocean missions to support a naval force or provide merchant ship escort through pirate-prone waters.”

“We have relatively small engines in a light hull,” says Soon. “Low fuel consumption gives long endurance.”

Zycraft cockpit when manned

The interior of the Zycraft Vigilant’s cockpit, showing controls available for manned operation. Edward H. Lundquist photo

Unlike many USVs, Vigilant is not designed for harbor or force protection, nor does it require a mothership. “The IUSV is designed for open ocean missions to support a naval force or provide merchant ship escort through pirate-prone waters,” Soon says.

Zycraft Vigilant

The Zycraft Vigilant is constructed of lightweight carbon nanotube composite materials, allowing it the weight margin for a large fuel and weapons payload. Zycraft photo

“We have lots of space, far more than you will get in a 9 or 11 meter RHIB, and with much more freeboard,” Soon says.

Even with personnel onboard, Vigilant uses a fly-by-wire control system. “It’s built to run unmanned,” he says.

“Vigilant has the Seakeeper gyroscopic anti-roll device. “We are the only USV with active anti-roll stabilization,” Soon says.

The vessel is controlled at an ops room in Singapore via Inmarsat and V-Sat satellite communications. “With the Internet, we can control the boat from anywhere around the world with the right program and the right access,” Soon says.

Zycraft Vigilant

The Zycraft Vigilant can be controlled by an operator in a nearby ship or via a control room in Singapore. Zycraft photo

The IUSV can also be controlled by an operator on a tanker controlling the escorting vehicle. The vessel can be disabled remotely to prevent unauthorized use, and has an auto tracker.

Vigilant could be assigned to an open ocean operating application, and remain on station almost indefinitely, only needing to be refueled occasionally.

The 54-foot (16.5 meter) Vigilant also comes in a manned version, called the Shomari.

With AIS, charts, cameras and radar, the IUSV provides very good coverage of all ships in an area. “If I have radar and AIS, I can make good sense of the situation.”

Zycraft Vigilant

The Zycraft Vigilant’s 5.5-ton fuel capacity gives it the ability to remain on station for extended periods. Zycraft photo

Vigilant could be assigned to an open ocean operating application, and remain on station almost indefinitely, only needing to be refueled occasionally.

The IUSV is intended for military, security and commercial surveillance purposes, but it can be used for anti-submarine surveillance, logistics and resupply, hydrographic mapping or ocean research.

Soon says Zycraft’s business is offering a turn-key service, not selling equipment. “Users pay for the use of the IUSV for specific tasks and for a set period of time,” he says. “We own, manage, operate and support the vehicle and its systems.  Customers just get the service they need, as they need it.”

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Capt. Edward H. Lundquist, U.S. Navy (Ret.) is a senior-level communications professional with more than...