The existence of a new and never before seen unmanned surface vehicle (USV) currently undergoing sea trials with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) was revealed on the service's Facebook page on 1 November.
Specifications of the indigenously developed Venus 16 USV were not disclosed, although IHS Jane's Unmanned Maritime Vehicles indicates that the vehicle has an overall length of 16.5 m and width of 5 m, displacing 26 tons at full load. Powered by a waterjet propulsion system, the vehicle is thought to be capable of attaining a maximum speed of in excess of 35 kt.
Details of the prototype USV's payload were likewise kept under wraps, but IHS Jane's understands that this vehicle has been configured for mine countermeasure (MCM) missions. A launch and recovery cradle with what appears to be a towed side-scan sonar system can be seen on its payload bay under cover.
"Our navy will be integrating more and more unmanned technology as part of the navy of the future," the service stated in its announcement. "The Venus 16 unmanned surface vessel (USV) is one of the unmanned systems currently being tested to support our maritime security operations."