Babcock Pitches Remora Vehicle Submarine Integration System To ROK Navy

Babcock Remora Vehicle Submarine Integration System
Babcock Remora Vehicle Submarine Integration System (Babcock)

Babcock Korea, a prominent partner in the Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy’s KSS-III program was pitching its Remora Vehicle Submarine Integration System at the YIDEX 2024 event held last month in South Korea.

Remora could help integrate AUV aboard KSS-III as part of ‘Navy Sea GHOST’ concept

YIDEX 2024, or the Yi Sun-shin Defense Industry Exhibition, named after the Korean national hero Admiral Yi Sun-shin, was previously a domestic event held on a small scale. However, it has continuously expanded to become an international event, attracting military officials from 25 countries following the global interest in the Korean defense industry. The event features participation from over 60 domestic defense companies, including major companies like Hanwha and LIG Nex1, along with about 10 international companies such as Rolls-Royce and Babcock. This is the largest scale in the event’s history.

As South Korea contends with a significant decline in birth rates, the ROK Navy struggles more than the other military branches to recruit new sailors. This has encouraged the ROK Navy to accelerate the adoption of unmanned systems under the Navy Sea GHOST concept not merely to reinforce its manpower, but to strengthen its overall capability.

During a recent exhibition, foreign defense companies presented their unmanned technologies, tailored to fit the ROK Navy’s strategic needs. Among these companies, Babcock Korea, already a prominent partner in the ROK Navy’s KSS-III program for weapons handling and launch systems (WHLS), unveiled another innovative solution. This solution, the Remora Vehicle Submarine Integration System, aims to expand the capabilities of Korean submarines by offering an extra-large AUV handling system for submarines. The Remora is currently being developed for the Royal Navy and focuses on providing solution to flexible deployment and retrieval of AUVs.

Just like its namesake, the Remora, which is a marine creature also known as the suckerfish that can adhere to smooth surfaces of boats, sharks, and whales, this technology shares similar characteristics. The Remora module capable of carrying AUVs over 30 tons can be mounted on existing submarines without affecting the performance of the mothership. Allowing the AUVs to dock with its mothership for operation.

As key features that enhance AUV operations, it offers multiple installation options that allow the Remora module to be placed in various locations on the submarine. This minimizes interference with other submarine systems and provides flexibility in operating AUVs. Moreover, its low-profile shape enables docking and retrieval with a low risk of detection. It includes an umbilical connection for rapid charging and direct mission data transfer during docking, allowing the AUV receive power from its mothership. Lastly, it allows for deployment and retrieval without the need to stop the mother ship’s maneuvers and offers dry transfer of divers and seals to the AUV.

Babcock also emphasized the benefits of operating large-scale, submarine-deployable Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). These AUVs can be deployed globally from shipping containers and large cargo planes like the C-17 through air drops while transporting crews and payloads. Although the Remora is developed for the Royal Navy, its flexibility and compatibility allow it to integrate with various AUVs, including those planned to be used by the ROK Navy in the future.