In centuries past, seamen were well aware that venturing into certain seas or straits meant increasing the chances of an encounter with pirates. In modern times, it looked like this kind of threat could only be found in books, or in movies where Johnny Depp is playing Jack Sparrow; on the contrary, in the seas near the Horn of Africa (in particular around Somalia), the threat is well perceivable.
In those seas, pirates are venturing not only in open waters, but also near the coastline, operating not only on small boats, but also by using depth mines. To protect sea traffic from such threats, BAE Systems has created Talisman, a small remote controlled submarine, with a 50 kg weight and a maximum speed of 5 knots, capable of patrolling waters up to 100 meters of depth for up to 12 hours.
Thanks to its reduced size and weight, it is extremely easy to maneuver, and fast responding; it is equipped with two high-definition sonars, as well as a series of cameras for underwater vision.
It can be controlled through a radio control panel which resembles a videogame console, or integrated into the main boat’s command board. It can operate in a fully autonomous way according to preset parameters, or under full human control.
Talisman can be launched from any kind of vessel, including inflatable boats. The producer does not disclose detailed information as far as the protection provided is concerned, although it does state that Talisman can thoroughly protect from mines, from detection to neutralization.