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Bonefish Unmanned Surface Vessel


Length: 11.7m Unmanned Surface Vessel

Length: 11.7m

Construction: Composite

Beam: 5.3m

Draft: ~0.6m

Power: 2 x 400hp

Fuel: ~1500L

Cruise: 35kts

Sprint: 45kts

#1509 11.7m Bonefish Unmanned Surface Vessel


This prototype unmanned surface vessel or USV, dubbed with the development code name of ‘ Bonefish’, was designed in collaboration with North Sea Boats (Indonesia) and SAAB AB (Sweden) using an ‘outside the box’ approach to USV design.


Many currently available military USVs are fast, planing mono-hulls – and are often optimized for containerization or on-ship storage, rather than for performance at sea. Unusually, Bonefish utilizes a modular trimaran platform, yielding an operational boat that is still able to be containerized in a standard 40′ shipping container and broken down for shipboard stowage, but also results in a boat considerably wider/beamier than a container when assembled.


The resulting increase in overall beam returns excellent stability and motion control, permitting the installation of larger search radars at greater heights above water, enhancing the surveillance properties of the vessel.

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Based on a proven, foil assisted trimaran hull form constructed in carbon foam sandwich materials, Bonefish sprint speed exceeds 40 knots, with true long range capability at slow speeds. The low profile, angular above water geometry yields little to nil radar signature and the sloping deck surfaces and some special features also discourages parties intent on boarding the vessel.


Intended to offer a very broad range of capabilities, Bonefish is able to be equipped with a variety of multi-role mission payload modules. In SAR situations, Bonefish can be deployed with rescue equipment and emergency supplies and equipment (including fire fighting pumps and monitors) in conditions considered overly dangerous for a crewed vessel. The mission module can also be configured for surveillance purposes – for coastal monitoring normally undertaken by Police, Coastguard or Customs agencies – or for military purposes, including long range, remote monitoring of surface combatants, or if working in packs, submarine detection. And, also in a military role, the module can be fitted out with a remote weapons station and used for patrol, intercept and interrogation purposes using directional microphones and loudspeakers, but with sophisticated targeting equipment and serious firepower if required.


Although intended as a proof of concept design, market interest in Bonefish has proven strong and is likely to lead to prototype construction and orders in the near future.

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