The new special operations craft of the Hellenic Navy’s Underwater Demolition Command (UDC) is a product of Phi-Mechaniseas, a company formed by Greek shipbuilders, engineers and naval system manufacturers led by Panagiotis Alourdas, Commodore HN (rtd), Nautical Architect and Mechanical Engineer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT. The Hellenic Shipyards SA (Skaramaga Shipyards) built the boat in close collaboration with the Navy and the design team. The aluminum for the construction of the craft was donated by ElvalHalcor, while the project was funded by the Hellenic Navy. The craft was launched on July 30, 2021 and entered service in May 2022.
The RWS is the General Robotics’ SHARK lightweight, dual-axis 12.7mm caliber weapon station. This is the first and sole vessel currently in the Hellenic Navy inventory carrying RWS.
Agenor is an 18-meter high-performance deep-V shaped SOC that displaces 22.5 tonnes at full load and can carry more than 4.5 tonnes of payload. It is powered by two 1,200 hp MAN V8 (2 x 882kW) engines that enable cruise and sprint speeds of 38kt and 52.5kt respectively. The gearbox is 2x ZF 2000A and the surface drives 2 x QSD 236. The vessel is designed to operate out to a maximum range of up to 350nm in Sea State 4, although range depends on payload. The SOC features a stern ramp that enables the rapid launch and recovery of two high-speed 4.7 m Zodiac Milpro Futura Commando 470 rubber inflatable boats.
The new SOC is designed to carry out a variety of missions in the special environment of the Aegean Sea including the fast Insertion and extraction of SOF, interdiction and coastal patrol and supporting CSAR missions. It is manned by four personnel and can accommodate ten fully equipped commandos, within its two-deck interior, six at the main deck and eight at the lower deck, all seated on Allsalt Maritime SHOXS type shock-absorbing seats. Accommodations also include a toilet on the lower deck for occupants.
It is equipped with a variety of communications, intelligence, and navigation systems including a Miltech Hellas MLT-SUR-100RTM two-axis gyrostabilized electro-optical sensor, SIMRAD navigation/surveillance radar, two marine cameras, CCTV system, AIS, GPS plotter, VHF, compass, depth sounder and LED remote controlled searchlight. The craft is designed to receive on board of a mini tactical battle management system if required.
General Robotics Ltd is an Israeli company that develops and manufactures advanced robotic systems for the Defense and Homeland Security markets. It is known for the Pitbull family advanced, ultra-light, remote-controlled systems for manned and unmanned platforms. The SHARK is the maritime offshoot of the Pitbull. Specifically designed for naval forces and coast guards, the SHARK is able to perform a diverse range of missions: anti-piracy, anti-terrorism, maritime traffic interception, and surveillance of territorial waters. It is designed for naval vessels where weight is constrained. It is fitted with an M2HB 12.7mm heavy machine gun (HMG) and weighs only 85kg while its silhouette is just 60m high.
With the high-performance “Point & Shoot” technology of General Robotics and naval stabilization firmware, SHARK is a truly defensive lifesaving platform. The station features a high definition, high frame rate, low latency day imaging sensor, a thermal camera with continuous optical zoom and autofocus, a laser rangefinder and two rear cameras for weapon and ammunition management. The system provides automatic target tracking, video motion detection and high hit probability day and night. A further two M2HB HMGs or automatic grenade launchers (AGL) can be fitted on mounts positioned on either side of the stern section behind the navigation cabin.