Blue Whale – A True Submarine Force Multiplier

Blue Whale
Blue Whale

Fueled by high acquisition costs and ongoing budgetary constraints, naval commanders around the world search for solutions to the universal dilemma – the dearth of sufficient submarines to achieve all mission objectives.

“Blue Whale”, a “first of its kind” system with onboard capabilities beyond anything seen before on an unmanned underwater asset, addresses this issue by performing an important share of the required submarine workload at low cost, and without putting naval crewman at direct risk.

Developed by the innovative systems & sensors subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, ELTA Systems Ltd., BlueWhale marries a stealthy, high performance unmanned underwater platform together with the company’s mastery of integrated systems, including radar, SIGINT, and communications, to achieve a breakthrough in subsurface warfare.

With its advanced sensors suite and powerful onboard processing, Blue Whale supports conventional manned submarine fleets by performing the following missions:

  • Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), including covert coastal operations
  • Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) – hunting submarines in their own domain
  • Acoustic Intelligence (ACINT)
  • Covert mine detection and other Mine Counter Measures (MCM)
  • Special forces support, including scout and mule
  • Forward scout and patrol for conventional submarines (underwater “loyal wingman”)
  • Piracy, terrorism and illegal immigration detection
  • Oceanology expeditionary support

ELTA’s underwater systems team lead, Col. (Ret.) EE. an experienced naval officer with over twenty-five years at sea in command positions, explains that ” Blue Whale’s low cost and proven mission capabilities add a new dimension to subsurface warfare. An array of Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and other capabilities make it the first UUV to complement larger manned platforms. The system offers unprecedented capabilities. For example, cooperation with ATLAS ELEKTRONIK in the integration of their superb Towed Array Sonar brings submarine hunting to depths traditionally considered detection free zones.”

Blue Whale features a patented surface payloads mast that can be configured for a wide range of mission profiles using an array of available sensors and systems, including SATCOM, which facilitates real-time exchange data exchange.

Surface payload options include:

  • Radar
  • Day/Night EO/IR
  • Sub-surface sensor options include:
  • Towed Array Sonar (TAS) developed by ATLAS ELEKTRONIK
  • Active and passive Flank Array Sonar (FAS) for the detection of surface vessels and submarines
  • Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) for mine detection and high-resolution sea bottom mapping
  • Magnetic sensors for mine detection and verification

Blue Whale is operated and managed via a highly developed Command & Control (C2) system, which facilitates a continuous Situation Awareness Picture, Call-to-Action commands, events blogger, remote operation and more.

ELTA’s extensive, operationally proven systems portfolio encompasses multi-mission aircraft, manned and unmanned ground vehicles, UUVs, integrated EW (ESM/ECM), Radar, SAR/GMTI, EO/IR, IMINT, Launch Detection Systems (LDS), and cyber. This diverse expertise is a key factor in the ability to deliver “Blue Whale” – a revolutionary, high end strategic solution that expands the capabilities of your submarine force.