In view of the high-profile attacks carried out in recent months on the infrastructure of the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II gas pipelines, it is necessary to ensure an adequate level of security and prevent similar incidents. To this end, the ORP “Mewa” type mine destroyer Kormoran II will gain the ability to monitor underwater pipelines installed on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. This will be possible thanks to specialized Pipe Tricking software used on unmanned underwater apparatuses1.

The Pipe Tricking software makes it possible to run the ship’s navigation system with sensors installed on an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) – Hugin2. This solution has already been tested on ORP “Albatros”, which is also a Kormoran II type destroyer. Their main purpose is to search for, identify and neutralize sea mines. For this purpose, they have been equipped with numerous underwater drones. Hugin is a cutting-edge technology, the use of which makes it possible to descend to depths of up to a thousand meters and image an area of nine square miles in a day3.

“When the multibeam echosounder detects a pipeline laid on the seabed, the vehicle positions itself above it and then follows its trail. In doing so, it records high-resolution images. After the mission, we can analyze the material and assess whether there are any cracks, clearances in the pipeline, or whether it has been moved in any way,” explained Lieutenant Commander Michal Dziugan, commander of the 13th minesweeper squadron in Gdynia4.

At the end of October this year, the tender for the acquisition of new Pipe Tricking software and crew training was announced by the Naval Port Command in Gdynia. The bids are currently being analyzed to determine the best one.

The delivery schedule calls for the first three sets of Hugin autonomous unmanned underwater platforms with High Precision Acoustic Positioning System (HiPAP) type systems to be delivered to the Navy successively over the next four years, starting in 2022. This follows an agreement between the Norwegian company Kongsberg Maritime and the Remontowa Shipbuilding shipyard in Gdansk. The name “Hugin” comes from one of the ravens of the most powerful Norse god Odin5. The unmanned underwater apparatuses are characterized by very high maneuverability and excellent stability, which allows them to collect and gather high-quality data. In addition, they have a hydrodynamic shape, accurate sensors and high-capacity batteries, making these drones a frequent choice of government institutions and armed forces around the world6.

A special advantage of the Hugins is their modularity, which means that, depending on the mission at hand, they can carry the following specialized equipment: the Kongsberg HISAS 1032 synthetic aperture interferometric sonar (HISAS 1032). High Resolution Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Sonar) enabling long range, high resolution imagery and bathymetry, Kongsberg EM2040 multibeam echosounder, which is a standard sonar for bathymetric mapping, UHD resolution camera with LED lighting panel for acquisition of high resolution optical imagery, OAS (Obstacle Avoidance System) active sonar. Obstacle Avoidance System (OAS) for underwater obstacle avoidance, the Launch And Recovery System (LARS) with low magnetic signature, and the Kongsberg Sunstone advanced inertial navigation system to ensure the accuracy of the vehicle’s position in the depths7. This provides a sustained operation of 24 to 74 hours at 2-6 w8. The weight of the unmanned vehicle depends on the configuration and ranges from 1000-1550 kg9.


1 Ł. Zalesiński, Drone will check pipelines, online – [accessed: 7.12.2023].

2 T. Grotnik, Kongsberg to develop next-generation Hugin autonomous underwater vehicle, online – [accessed: 7.12.2023].

3 Polska Zbrojna official website, What can Hugin do?, – [accessed: 7.12.2023].

4 Ł. Zalesiński, Drone will check pipelines, op. cit.

5 Official website of “Rzeczpospolita”, Kormoran II type mine destroyers will receive Hugin submersible vehicles, online – [accessed: 7.12.2023].

6 Escort Technology, Kongsberg HUGIN AUV submersible vehicle, online – [accessed: 7.12.2023].

7 Ibidem.

8 The W speed index indicates a speed of 270 km/h.

9 The Military Magazine, Norwegian Hugin submersible vehicles for next Cormorants, online – [accessed: 14.12.2023].

Photo: Kongsberg Maritime official website, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), Hugin, online – [accessed: 20.12.2023].

Tekst powstał w ramach realizacji zadania publicznego zleconego w ramach Rządowego Programu Rozwoju Organizacji Obywatelskich na lata 2018–2030 r. „Bezpieczna Polska jutra – rozwój działań misyjnych Alioth Foundation”.