The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has placed an order with Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) for four REMUS 300 unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

HII noted that this is the first international order.

New Zealand has a total fleet of six REMUS 100 UUVs that are used for mine countermeasures (MCMs) and other underwater survey operations.

The RNZN used REMUS vehicles for search and recovery, as well as locating the wreck of the Princess Ashika ferry in 2009.

The vehicles also assisted RNZN with the White Island volcano search effort in 2019.

HII Technical Solutions division Unmanned Systems business group president Duane Fotheringham said: “We are pleased New Zealand is upgrading their fleet with new REMUS 300 UUVs.

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“Technology has progressed significantly over the past few years, and the REMUS 300 represents one of the most advanced man-portable UUVs on the market today.”

The REMUS 300 is a new, small class UUV designed for military and commercial applications.

It has options for 1.5kWh, 3kWh, or 4.5kWh lithium-ion batteries to achieve endurance of up to ten, 20 or 30 hours and recharge time of six, 12 or 18 hours, respectively.

According to HII, the open architecture and modularity of the UUV allows it to be customised to fulfil specific mission requirements.

Besides the four vehicles, New Zealand acquired HD camera modules and additional swappable battery modules.

HII expects to deliver the four REMUS 300 UUVs by summer next year.

Royal New Zealand Navy captain Garin Golding said: “We have a fleet of six REMUS 100 UUVs we have been using consistently for the past 14 years.

“The flexibility and modularity of the REMUS 300 will allow us to tailor the vehicles to specific missions, further augmenting our capabilities.”

Last month, HII received an order from the US Navy for the supply of two REMUS 300 UUVs.