HII (Huntington Ingalls Industries) will build two REMUS 620 unmanned underwater vehicles for a US Department of Commerce agency, with an expected delivery date next year.
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The US military shipbuilder, in partnership with W.S. Darley & Co, was recently contracted to build the two medium-class UUVs for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The order will include additional customisation of the two UUVs with synthetic aperture sonar modules, additional energy modules and auxiliary equipment.
The standard REMUS 620 version has a battery life of up to 110 hours, a range of 275 nautical miles and capabilities for mine countermeasures, hydrographic surveys, intelligence collection, surveillance and electronic warfare.
Mission Technologies’ unmanned systems business group president Duane Fotheringham said the REMUS line of UUVs has been supporting scientific research and operations internationally while in use across more than 30 countries.
“The REMUS 620 is the first medium-class UUV designed to accurately deliver this range of advanced above- and below-water effects at long range,” Mr Fotheringham said.
“We are excited to build these vehicles for the US government, supporting the mission of our long-term customer, NOAA.”
“There has been tremendous market interest in the REMUS 620 … combined with the steadily increasing backlog of our REMUS 300 vehicles, this order is a strong statement on the capabilities of our products.”
It’s understood the NOAA will use the REMUS 620 vehicles for higher-resolution mapping of the Gulf of Mexico and restoration efforts of the seafloor habitats damaged by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The agency has previously used other REMUS models for habitat characterisation, marine archaeology and other ocean mapping and exploration activities.