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MAKO Penguin UUV / USV System in trials with Russia's Secret Services FSB.

| 2016
Naval Industry News - Russia
MAKO Penguin UUV / USV System in trials with Russia's Secret Services FSB
Russian secret services are testing the Penguin self-contained surface/submersible robotized system designed to protect high-value installations, including the bridge across the Kerch Strait, against commandos, terrorists and improvised explosive devices, according to the Izvestia newspaper.
MAKO Penguin USV UUV Russia 1
The Penguin USV/UUV. Photo: Scientific and Industrial Group "MAKO"
Using its Gidra mini-sonars, the robot developed and made by the MAKO Group can detect explosive devices and enemy combat divers hiding in the tangles of the underwater hydraulic works.

According to a source of the Izvestia, who is close to the issue, the unmanned submersible has passed several tests at a hydraulic work on the Volga River and near the Kerch Strait Bridge’s construction site in summer this year.

"Having made several dives, the robot transmitted clear imagery of the sea bottom near the construction site to the shore-based security outfit,"
the source said. "The robot’s sonars both recorded the traces of the previous work on the bridge pillars and spotted objects under the sea bottom’s soil, hidden in plastic containers by the organizers of the trials."

The source emphasized that the tests had been a success and that a decision is in the pipeline on a date of the delivery of sophisticated submersible robotized systems.
MAKO Penguin USV UUV Russia 2
The Penguin USV/UUV. Photo: Scientific and Industrial Group "MAKO"
When on the surface, the 1.5-m-long Penguin looks similar to an overturned surfing board, which 80-cm tailfin is not in the water, but sticks up in the air. The submersible travels at a speed of 12 knots - just over 20 km/h - and dives to 500 m in automatic mode. It retains its self-contained operating capability for 6 h.

The Penguin carries the Gidra mini-sonar, which sensors are marginally larger than a ballpoint pen. The Gidra feeds quality imagery of the sea floor to the operator from hundreds of meters away and images of hydraulic work walls or ship hulls from tens of meters away," Vladimir Trusilov, director general of the Ekran Company developing unique sonars, told the Izvestia. "The footage’s quality enables the operator to correctly identify the object in his field of view and take appropriate measures."

According to expert Alexander Mozgovoi, controlling the underwater situation near dams, hydroelectric power station, bridges and naval bases is a key security mission.

"The experience drawn from local wars and conflicts has shown that there are many ways to emplace underwater mines. Aircraft, commercial surface vessels, submarines and naval commandos can be used for this purpose,"
Mozgovoi says. "A most graphic example is the tragic sinking of the Novorossiisk battleship on the roadstead of Sevastopol in October 1955. The catastrophe snuffed out 829 lives, including those of the battleship’s complement and seamen with the rescue teams deployed by other ships of the squadron."

According to the expert, Navy historians are still unable to pinpoint the cause of the tragedy. Was it an accident resulting in a series of explosions and the sinking of the warship, or an operation of Italian combat divers, designed to revenge Italy’s ending up among the losers in the Second World War, after which the Italian battleship was seized by the Soviet Union as part of the reparations ?

"The Kingfish underwater robot is in development in the United States. It is preprogrammed and then deployed under water. The robot gathers information using photographic equipment. It is said to have the 24-hour operating capability. However, the Russia’s Penguin is several times more effective than the Kingfish owing to its sonars,"
Mozgovoi says.

The self-contained robot outfitted with the mini-sonar will boost the capabilities of minesweepers and anticommando units of the Russian Navy and National Guard. It will always be hard for the enemy to detect it, which is important for the security of strategic facilities, according to the Izvestia daily.

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