The US Navy Needs Offensive Undersea Drones

“Imagine a system of unmanned systems ready to employ kinetic or non-kinetic effects to a hostile warship or to multiple warships simultaneously. Picture an adversary held at risk and having to account for an anonymous ocean bottom-stored system of UUVs instead of simply having to account for vertical launch cells on United States’ ships or aircraft in the region. Envision the reach the U.S. Navy could have in extending sea denial and in projecting undersea power forward in support of a globally stretched submarine force. This is the future of undersea warfare.” View Article  

Navy Refining Unmanned Surface, Underwater Vehicle Command Structures

“ARLINGTON, Va. – The Navy is taking steps to mature organizations that oversee unmanned surface and undersea vehicles, with the Surface Development Squadron (SURFDEVRON) 1 missions, functions and tasks being finalized and a second unmanned underwater vehicle squadron being stood up. On the surface side, an Oct. 17 document shows SURFDEVRON-1 will fall under Naval Surface Force Pacific for administrative control and under U.S. 3rd Fleet for operational control. The squadron will control the three Zumwalt-class destroyers and any medium and large unmanned surface vehicles, and it will be supported by a slew of San Diego-based training-, warfare development- and maintenance-related commands.”   View Article

DARPA Awards Contracts for Angler UUV Program

“DARPA has announced that it has awarded six contracts for work on the Angler unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) program, which aims to develop advanced autonomous robotic systems capable of performing physical intervention in undersea environments. The new systems will have to operate without reliance on GPS and human intervention, and perform functions in support of underwater infrastructure establishment and maintenance.” View Article

TechnipFMC Seeks to Partner, to Invest in New Subsea Autonomous Technology

“TechnipFMC, a leading builder and manager of oil and gas infrastructure, is looking invest in new technologies and partner with other firms to support autonomous and semi-autonomous subsea operations. “TechnipFMC has really shifted their thinking from the not-invented-here kind of let’s-do-everything-all-in-house thought all the way to looking at venture capital investment in start-ups and also what we call open innovation,” said Diana Grauer, TechnipFMC’s director of external technology engagement. “And what that gives us an opportunity to do is bring technology startups, small firms (and) other third parties into our ecosystem and into our supply chain in a collaborative way. And that way we can support those groups and those technologies and help them help us provide solutions to our customer.”” View Article

Navy Seeking New Technology For Unmanned Boats, Subs

“The Navy is looking to bolster its fleet of unmanned surface and subsurface systems with a slew of new platforms and upgrades. The service’s portfolio of unmanned underwater vehicles, or UUVs, includes extra-large, large, medium and small variants, according to Capt. Pete Small, program manager for unmanned maritime systems in the program executive office for unmanned and small combatants. The Navy recently awarded a contract to Boeing for production of five Orca extra-large UUV prototypes, he said during a conference hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International in Washington, D.C.” View Article

Near-record investment expected as ‘bow wave’ of activity heads for Newfoundland offshore

Big money to be spent “The first wave will crest by 2021, with oil giants like ExxonMobil, Chevron, Equinor and CNOOC committed to spending $1.7 billion. That activity has begun, with ExxonMobil set to start drilling on a prospect identified through Nalcor’s long-running geoscience program. By 2022, BP Canada, Navitas Petroleum, Nexen Energy and Husky have committed to spending $763 million. And further out, to 2024, BHP, Equinor and Suncor, plan to invest $1.4 billion in exploration.”   View Article

Equinor inching closer to sanctioning ‘world class’ Bay du Nord field

“An official with Equinor says the company’s goal of becoming a producing operator in Newfoundland’s offshore “has not wavered,” with efforts to develop the much-hyped and “world class” Bay du Nord field at a critical stage. The Norwegian company and its Canadian partner, Husky Energy, want to open the Flemish Pass to oil production, and are working hard to overcome the challenge of doing so in a safe and cost-effective way, Jim Beresford said Thursday.”

There’s Something Happening off Newfoundland

“Economies of scale accrue quickly off Newfoundland. For Husky, another 52,500 barrels per day are expected by 2022, when the West White Rose project comes onstream. It’s CEO says Eastern Canadian operating costs are just US $17 per barrel, so you can quickly add four water injectors to prop up production until “over US $1 billion per year” start rolling in and new discoveries are tied back to existing production at even lower drill costs.”   View Article

The Next Frontier for Defense Drones may be the World’s Oceans

“Blue Tech for the maritime defense sector feels like where Clean Tech was a decade ago,” said Greg Murphy, executive director of The Maritime Alliance, a San Diego trade group for the Blue Tech industry. “There is momentum. The Navy is increasingly using autonomous systems, and the large defense contractors are starting to buy up smaller Blue Tech companies that are developing systems.”      

Navy Plans “Simpler Truck” for its Unmanned CounterMine Mission

The U.S. Navy still plans to hunt for maritime mines using autonomous craft but the service likely will attack the problem from a different angle, says Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations.

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