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Ocius christens three new Bluebottle USVs

The Sydney-based technology firm has christened three additional Bluebottle USVs ahead of a six-month test and evaluation process.

The Sydney-based technology firm has christened three additional Bluebottle USVs ahead of a six-month test and evaluation process.

Ocius Technology has achieved a new milestone in the development and delivery of its Bluebottle uncrewed surface vessels (USV), christening the last of its current five-member set at a ceremony held on Friday (18 June) at its facility on the UNSW’s Randwick campus.

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‘Bluey’, ‘Beacon’, and ‘Brizo’ were christened by Royal Australian Navy Rear Admiral Pete Quinn, senator for NSW Holly Hughes, and longstanding Ocius shareholder Michelle Moulos.

The newly-christened vessels will now join sister USVs ‘Beth’ and ‘Bonnie’ in Darwin, before engaging in a series of maritime border operations over the next six months.

“We're looking forward to having five of them in a network, doing a job that we think can fill a capability gap,” Ocius CEO Robert Dane told Defence Connect.

“It’s a great culmination of a lot of work and now we've got a high-quality product that we're going to be out there testing in the next six months.”

The USV fleet is built to navigate “freely and indefinitely” across all ocean environments, providing data gathering and communication services.

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According to Dane, the USV’s radar technologies are capable of monitoring activities as far as six nautical miles over the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and can leverage active and passive arrays for underwater detection.  

“There's a huge future for autonomous systems because of the vast area that we have to patrol and Bluebottles have a unique application in this space,” Dane added.

The Ocius CEO revealed that the firm has received several enquires from international customers, but would primarily on focus on filling capability gaps in Australia.

The development of Ocius’ Bluebottle USVs was partly supported by a $5.5 million Defence Innovation Hub contract, awarded to the firm in June 2020.

[Related: Defence Innovation Hub funding to boost Australian defence industry innovation]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Ocius christens three new Bluebottle USVs
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