Australian-based unmanned underwater vehicle manufacturer, Aquabotix has been awarded a US Navy contract to support further development of the company’s SwarmDiver system.
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The US$70,000 contract will conclude with a testing and demonstration to various US Navy personnel.
Whitney Million, Aquabotix chief executive, said, "This is a second project involving SwarmDiver and the US Navy in the last seven months. SwarmDiver can be used broadly, in numerous mission types.
"This development contract will provide greater flexibility in the systems’ use while maintaining the benefits of conducting an unmanned mission."
The SwarmDiver is system of hybrid, unmanned surface vehicle (USV) and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV). Each SwarmDiver drone is a 29.5 inches long, weighing 1.6 kilograms and capable of a speed of 4.2 knots.
SwarmDiver comes in three variants, with niche capabilities, including:
- SwarmDiver Stealth: Developed for use in covert defence operations and incorporates digital camouflage coating, low-noise motor, and no visible light emitting sources for data collection and transmission through littoral and harbour zones.
- SwarmDiver Nightline: Developed specifically for use with special operations forces, the Nightline system is designed for covert operations where nighttime vehicle recovery may be required and incorporates digital camouflage coating, a low-noise motor, ultraviolet coating for nighttime detection with a barely visible light source.
- SwarmDiver Edge: Equipped with high intensity lights for use in establishing a visual boundary along a shore line, docking area, around a vessel or near other items of interest. SwarmDiver Edge is designed to specifically counter the growing threat of asymmetric threats including militants, terrorists and piracy.
"Aquabotix is excited to once again be afforded the opportunity to support the United States Navy while expanding its own capabilities. We look forward to demonstrating this transformative technology advancement," Million said.
Based in Sydney and Fall River, Massachusetts, Aquabotix is an established underwater robotics company that manufactures and sells commercial and industrial-grade underwater drones for commercial, high-end consumer and military applications. It is also the first company globally that is offering commercially-available swarming underwater drones.
Aquabotix's portfolio of products includes remotely operated vehicle, hybrid autonomous/remote underwater vehicles and underwater camera systems. Aquabotix products are utilised in commercial, educational, industrial, government, military and recreational applications by anyone looking to explore under water.