Turkish Defense Disguises Underwater Drone as Sneaky ‘Wattozz’ Stingray
We’ve seen underwater diving drones that are reminiscent of ducklings, and fish-like aquatic drones developed by MIT that mimic the movement of a fish, but nothing like this before.
A Turkish defense company named Albayraklar Savunma has now released a video showing an unmanned underwater vehicle that uncannily resembles the size, movement and appearance of a stingray.
Named “Wattozz”, the Turkish word for stingray, the country’s first locally developed and armed underwater drone is sinister for more than just it’s unnerving camouflage.
The video shows a school of the stingray drones swimming in formation, controlled from a central command.
Coated in silicone, the drone has the ability to lie still on the ocean floor in ‘sleep mode’. Due to a signal-absorbing inner coating, the drones are impossible to detect by radar either in sleep mode or when in motion, the company says in their video.
While the stingray is reported to be primarily an “observation vehicle”, it also operates as a “mobile naval mine”, and has the capability to attach to the hull of enemy vessels invading the country’s waters using electromagnetic magnets and then detonate on command.
Using encrypted acoustic sound waves, “similar to that of animals such as whales and dolphins”, the Wattozz can communicate with its central command base.
Albayraklar Savunma, have undertaken the aquatic drone development along with Turkey’s Karadeniz Technical University. Two cameras are fitted as ‘eyes’ of the Wattozz, which can cruise at a maximum speed of 5.5 knots for up to 12 hours.
The company has been developing the Wattozz program since 2016, and will officially launch Turkey’s first indigenous armed underwater drone within the next three months, said Mustafa Adnan Albayrak, chairman of Albayraklar Savunma.
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