Russia to Test New Energy-Independent Drone Boat at Sea

Rubric: Russia, Industry, Future

The unmanned boat Buk-600 with autonomous control system, which model was presented at Army-2018 forum, will be tested in severe weather conditions in October 2018, Alexey Maistro, the project manager told Mil.Press Today.

"We’ll hold the trials in the Gulf of Finland to see how the boat’s automatic steering system behaves in gale conditions", Maistro said.

Unmanned boat Buk-600

Designing of Buk-600 began in 2014 in Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University. The project is handled by postgrads of the welding theory and technology department of the institute for metallurgy, engineering and transport.

The boat’s six-meter hull is made of aluminum composite. Designers describe the project as an energy-independent platform. The drone boat is equipped with solar panels, a gasoline-powered generator and a hydrogen cell. The energy obtained from these three sources is accumulated in the battery.

The unmanned boat is capable to patrol water areas, search for various objects, and pursue them.

"Our project simplifies the target searching process, especially with the use of 3D mapping. Six drones of this kind can monitor 150-km coastline", the interviewee shared.
An engineer from a Petersburg-based design bureau creating drone boats doubted whether the military would order such equipment. "The Navy prefers more proved variants based on available boats rather than such exotic solar-powered things", believes the insider.
Upon the trials, the designers will upgrade the course-keeping system and equip Buk-600 with an energy-efficient heavy lift hull. The modernized version of the boat will be presented at the ninth International Maritime Defense Show to take place in Saint Petersburg in June 26-30, 2019.