The future of the maritime industry is autonomation and automation. Whether in fully unmanned surface vessels (USVs) or a combined human-machine team, navies have already made investments and developed procurement strategies for these autonomous systems solutions. Governments are competing to develop the most advanced and reliable unmanned aerial, underwater, and surface systems those can be integrated with each other to reshape warfare. These solutions require less manpower and financial investment to deploy, and lower the human and economic risk.

Swiftships is one of the pioneer shipbuilders that has shifted its strategic investments and R&D towards reliable, effective, and highly applicable solutions for vessel automation and autonomy. We have teamed with leading developers of unmanned and autonomous marine systems and equipment, as well as with technology makers and universities. Our capabilities range from building fully autonomous vessels to converting existing vessels into autonomous or unmanned platforms, integrating artificial intelligence (AL), providing launch and recovery platforms, and more.

Swiftships Brings its Unique Advantage Into the Evolution of Autonomy

The technology exists, and Swiftships is working to create reliable and functional applications. Communication equipment, artificial intelligence (AL) solutions, and big data analytics, cyber capabilities, motion sensors, and weapons systems are already available in the market and steadily evolving. Our biggest concern now is making technology reliable, cost effective, and applicable in practice.

Swiftships is a shipbuilder that brings a unique advantage and needed capabilities into the unmanned surface vehicles evolution. Our expertise is practical—we understand the way vessels operate at sea and we understand the mission. Swiftships can retrofit current ship designs with autonomous capabilities and has the ability to build, maintain, and repair them. Together with our partners, we are working to integrate these systems into our vessels with proven hulls and present highly effective solutions for our military and commercial customers.

Levels of Autonomy

Integrated Autonomous Capabilities
Those include various degrees of autonomy used for navigation, mobility, intelligence, interoperability, weapon systems, and more.

Operated Remotely
System enabled remote control of autonomous surface vehicles.

Vessels operate autonomously during long days at sea and simple operations – human involvement is carried out for higher level functions or the control of more difficult situations.

Surface vehicles that can perform designed functions fully autonomously. In practice, they have optionally manned ship capability with few crew members on board.

Swiftships R&D Programs and Autonomy Application Developments

Our autonomous systems program covers developments and unmanned solutions integration from small unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to large LUSVs. In collaboration with partners, suppliers, and research institutions, Swiftships is focusing on economical, high endurance, multi-functional, and reliable solutions to support the needs of navies around the world.

Autonomy Applications for Medium-to-Large Vessels and Different Missions

  Modification of proven hulls and reconfiguration of commercial ship designs to semi-autonomous and autonomous

  Conversion of existing vessels into autonomous or unmanned platforms using autonomous control systems

  Increase the use of safe and reliable vessel autonomy using artificial intelligence to navigate vessels

Unmanned Aerial Platforms

  Integrated launch and recovery platforms for Unmanned Aerial Vessels (UAVs) from sea-state 3-4 with high pitch and roll stability solution

  Develop an integrated homing solution to control UAVs from base to sea

Other Platforms

  Small unmanned vessels and remotely controlled vessels
  Surface to surface missile capability
  Integrated weapon systems to allow link access to areal and surface assets

Applications and Advantages of Autonomy Integration and Unmanned Surface Vehicles

To start with, autonomy allows for simplifying and optimizing the vessel’s design because there will be fewer requirements around the needs of the crew. This leads to…

  Improved overall efficiency
  More aerodynamic profile
  Higher maneuverability
  Easier cargo loading and more capacity
  Cheaper superstructure
  Reduced maintenance costs

Autonomy also allows for reduced human error, which…

  Brings down the costs related to accidents and insurance, 95% of which are related to human error
  Eliminates risks of crew injuries, death, or capture onboard
  Increases success of long duration and dangerous missions that highly depend on the physical endurance of onboard crew

Other advantages of unmanned solutions include…

  Better and faster decisions as autonomy enables man-machine teaming
  Difficulty of detecting and defeating USVs
  Reduced or eliminated piracy without human crews to leverage
  Seamless connections with other modes of transport and hull-to-hull enabling
  Smaller unmanned vessels can extend the operational reach of big naval ships

Autonomous solutions are already highly used for intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance, mine counter measures, military training, and tests. We also see unmanned systems applied in maritime security, anti-submarine warfare, drug interdictions, launch, and recovery of host platforms. With the evolution of USVs the application will grow even further for offensive and defensive missions.