To effectively operate across an increasingly complex maritime environment, naval forces must be equipped with flexible, modular and scalable technologies capable of supporting multiple mission sets.
L3Harris Technologies’ Iver™4 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) was designed and developed with continuous feedback from the U.S. Navy to support these types of multi-mission requirements precisely.
The long-endurance AUV can support both contemporary and future operating requirements of naval forces around the world, including long-range surveys, multi-domain intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, anti-submarine and mine warfare.
Initially designed to support the operational requirements of submarines and explosive ordnance disposal teams, the non-ITAR, exportable AUV allows customers to achieve greater operational effects with a smaller platform, which is enabled through a series of distinguishing features unique to the Iver4.
Features include an agnostic power module capable of supporting any battery type, payload modularity for the rapid swapping of sensors and ease of portability to support expeditionary and clandestine mission requirements.
The standard Iver4 is equipped with a rechargeable NiMH battery pack, providing up to 20 hours run time, allowing for longer ingress/egress to and from target areas. Safe battery chemistry technology also enables transport on-board commercial aircraft without the requirement for specialist shipping equipment.
Alternative power supplies include a rechargeable 4 kilowatt hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery (~40 hours endurance), or aluminum-water power source (~80 hours). Additionally, the power module can be easily replaced ‘at sea’ or quickly recharged, without any change to the submersible’s configuration, providing a flexible solution for customers seeking to satisfy a broad range of mission requirements.
The Iver4 features an open architecture allowing customers to integrate specialized sensor payloads, including ITAR related payloads, and software consistent with operational requirements. Currently, L3Harris offers a towed magnetometer; forward-looking echo sounder for object avoidance; and an optional forward-looking sector-scanning sonar for sonar gap fill.
Integrated onboard the vehicle, the Iver4 is designed with modular, wet-mate sections; alternative payloads, including cameras, side scan, and synthetic aperture sonars as well as exchanging payloads for operators to quickly and easily swap with its no-tool design.
Measuring 2.5 meters in length and less than 230 pounds in weight, the Iver4′s 9-inch diameter noncorrosive, carbon fiber tube allows the AUV to dive to a depth of 300 meters. Capable of being carried by two service personnel, the AUV can also be easily carried on-board Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats for surface launch in addition to being launched from land.
The Iver4 has been optimized to support maritime operations across multiple domains, including anti-access/area denial environments with the AUV’s ability to conduct longer ingress/egress routes providing naval forces with the ability to launch missions at greater standoff distances away from enemy forces.
Without the need for external navigation aids, the Iver’s clean power architecture and low electromagnetic interference delivers best in class Geolocation accuracy and clear target detection in complex bottom types.
Once a mission has been completed, the Iver4 can be programmed to loiter in a holding pattern under the surface until acoustically requested to return to base or retasked. Upon successful recovery, optionally encrypted ‘wet’ data modules can be extracted and replaced, allowing the Iver4 to immediately redeploy on another mission dependent upon battery power. Secure data transfer and command and control solutions are scalable from non-ITAR to classified missions.
Looking to the future, L3Harris is expanding the Iver legacy with new vehicle size offerings, including the 5.8″ diameter Iver4 580. L3Harris’ affordable, unmanned system solutions are designed to perform when you need them most.