Enata Marine – a division of the Enata Group, an international equipment industrial manufacturing group headquartered in the United Arab Emirates – is no stranger to pushing boundaries in the marine space. In 2018, its first Foiler flying yacht wowed the industry with its avant-garde design and W-foils that offered owners the scintillating combination of tight sports-car handling, impressive cruise and top speeds, unmatched efficiency and unparalleled comfort, riding 1.5 meters above the sea surface.
Enata has now unveiled an exciting new application for the Foiler, which is being developed for military clients but which also could offer private owners even more advanced capabilities.
Named the Foiler USV (Unmanned Surface Vehicle), the sleek, pilotless vessel is based on the current 10-meter Foiler model, the Foiler Spirit. This means that it inherits all the proven traits of that model, including fast top speed of over 40 knots, a cruise speed up to 30 knots, and the increased stability that comes from foils that support a level platform underway and which serve as motion dampers when at rest, reducing the reliance on gyro stabilization.
All under control
The Foiler USV also draws on the advanced capabilities of Enata’s proprietary Wingman command and control software. This not only handles systems operation, monitoring, and control of things like the foil surfaces, but also, in the case of the Foiler USV, offers the possibility for simple automated tasks without the need for additional software or systems.
In addition, the Foiler USV will have the capability for remote control and/or for fully autonomous operation. The design’s extreme agility and high-speed performance combines with exceptional range to offer superb functionality, with the Foiler USV able to reach 2,000 kilometers on a single tank while maintaining a cruise speed of 25-30 knots.
This makes for highly versatile operational deployment, especially when combined with the vessel’s capacity to be equipped with different types of drone UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), as well as sound and light cannons, ballistic nets and more surveillance equipment. This means the Foiler USV can undertake a variety of roles for monitoring and patrol according to desired specification. With the Foiler running unaffected by the weather, up to sea state 5, the Foiler USV enjoys a broad operational envelope.
“The Foiler USV’s unmatched performance, range and handling combined with the highly intelligent Wingman software and autonomous capability makes it the perfect option for coastal security and longer-range mission profiles,” says Alois Vieujot, Director of Enata. “As an example, from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia you could monitor the entire Red Sea and Gulf of Aden with Foiler USV, and it could transit from Abu Dhabi in the UAE to Salalah in Oman or Gujarat in India.
“Further,” he adds, “from Naples in southern Italy you could access anywhere in the Mediterranean, including Gibraltar, the Aegean and even Port Said in Egypt. We are very excited to be working on the USV project as it simultaneously highlights the technological expertise we hold within Enata and also the wide-ranging capabilities of our proven Foiler design.”
Production of the Foiler USV is currently underway, and Enata is planning to unveil a working demonstrator in late 2023 or early 2024.