The Navy’s Unmanned Drone Ship – Sea Hunter

DARPA has announced its 132-foot Unmanned Surface Vehicle called Sea Hunter. It is highly autonomous and can stay at sea for months at a time. Comprised of three main areas, Sea Hunter is packed to the gills with sensors, fuel tanks, computers, and anti-fire mechanisms. Leidos, the company formally known as Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) was contracted by DARPA to build Sea Hunter.

Industry M&A – General Dynamics Acquires Bluefin Robotics

General Dynamics Mission Systems has acquired Bluefin Robotics and added it to its Marine and Strategic Systems business. Bluefin Robotics makes unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs). The company was founded in 1997 by engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AUV Laboratory and was a subsidiary of Battelle Memorial Institute Inc. In 2011, the company received a subcontract from General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems for the Surface Mine Countermeasure UUV, known as Knifefish.   General Dynamics Buys UUV Maker Bluefin Robotics

Elbit Introduces Seagull USV

Developed in less than three years with technical and performance input from the Israeli Navy and Israel’s Ministry of Defense, Elbit Systems unveiled a prototype of. the Seagull USV that can complement or even replace expensive, manpower-intensive frigates or aircraft currently used to hunt submarines at sea. Seagull is a 12-meter USV with replaceable mission modules, with two vessels capable of being operated and controlled in concert using a single Mission Control System (MCS), from manned ships or from the shore. The system provides unmanned end-to-end mine hunting operation taking the man out of the mine field. It provides mission planning, and on-line operation in known and unknown areas, including area survey, search, detection, classification, identification, neutralization and verification. It is equipped to search the entire water volume and operate underwater vehicles to identify and neutralize mines.

Unmanned Underwater Vehicles are Changing Business Models

Unmanned vehicles are profoundly impacting business models on land and in air. In the maritime sector, this sort of growth has been lagging, but it is beginning to catch up. Traditionally, unmanned vehicles, especially ROVs, have been critical to successful marine operations but have not changed the business model for maritime industries. The cost of vessels and staff still dominates the economics of most marine operations. This is now changing with the growth of “low-logistics” unmanned vehicles, including ROVs and AUVs. In the last decade, there has been a change in attitude towards AUV operations. Previously, the AUV was reserved for specialist activities in specific jobs, requiring much mobilization effort, dedicated vessels, and an extensive suite of ancillary equipment. The marine community may not be on the verge of profound disruption, like the kind brought about by aviation “drones,” but new low-logistics, high-performance unmanned vehicles are definitely offering new options for improved…

  • Upcoming Events

    1. Oceanology International 2020

      March 17 @ 8:00 am - March 19 @ 5:00 pm