IT COULD be the future of port security across the world.

A small unmanned boat the size of a large bath tub, which has been developed and produced in Hampshire, is now being trialled in Japan.

Just 2.3 metres long and 1.3 metres wide, the C-Stat 2 developed by Autonomous Surface Vehicles (AVS), based at Trafalgar Wharf in Portchester, is being used by Tohuku University in Japan to help predict earthquakes off the Japanese coast.

Made out of aluminium and powered by a hybrid diesel electric system it is controlled by a ultra high frequency (UHF) data link for line of sight control or a satellite link for global control and can stay in low-speed currents for more than 20 days.

The Hampshire team behind the C-stat believe the vessel could be fitted with cameras for surveillance purposes.

Vince Dobbin, head of business development for AVS, said: “It could monitor areas and be fitted with different cameras and a range of sensors for harbour security.”

For countries with shrinking navies, multiple use of the C-stat could help monitor waters while reducing costs and increasing intelligence data.

The vessel could also be used for dredging surveys and acoustic monitoring of sealife.

Mr Dobbin added: “It’s fantastic for such a young company as ours to be building such an exciting product and more importantly exporting the other way, a real one up for British manufacturing.”