Kraken Robotics has secured a prime contract from the Government of Canada to provide Remote Minehunting and Disposal Systems (RMDS) for the Department of National Defense (DND).

The contract comprises an estimated 24-month acquisition programme following which is an initial five-year Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) programme.

The ILS programmes features options for further spare parts, training, and technical support.

Commencement of the acquisition programme will begin in January next year.

The total value of the contract will be more than $50m if all options under the acquisition and ILS programmes are exercised. This amount will consist of around $40m for acquisition and $10m for ILS.

Kraken will deliver remote minehunting and disposal systems to Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) on the East Coast, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and the West Coast, located in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

Besides several combat-variant and training-variant mine disposal systems (MDS), transportable command center (TCC) and computer-based trainer (CBT), the RMDS also comprises two classes of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) – light weight AUVs and operator portable AUVs.

The AUVs will be equipped with Kraken’s AquaPix synthetic aperture sonar.

Among Kraken’s partners included on this programme are Kongsberg Maritime Canada, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, and SH Defense.

Kongsberg Maritime Canada is a provider of HIl’s Mission Technologies Division’s REMUS AUV; ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems Canada (tkMS) is offering SEAFOX mine disposal vehicles; and SH Defense will provide ‘The Cube’, which is a containerised multi mission module system, as transportable command centre and effector/ launch and recovery centre.

Kraken president and CEO Karl Kenny said: “This represents a huge win not only for the Kraken team as innovators of world-leading minehunting solutions, but also an immensely proud moment for our Canadian personnel. Delivery of Kraken’s RMDS solution will provide Canada with a world-class mine-hunting and mine disposal capability, and enable further collaboration with our NATO allies, leveraging common technology platforms across our allied fleets.

“For Kraken, this programme is building upon the success we have had supplying underwater sensors, platforms, and services to a number of Nato navies including the US, UK, Australia, Denmark, Poland, and others. Kraken has deployed our SAS solutions on the family of HII AUVs across several countries, so we are looking forward to bringing that field-proven capability to the Royal Canadian Navy.”

The RMDS capability is needed for safety for RCN warships and commercial ship navigating in important maritime waterways across the world.

The RCN’s Force Development plans for naval mine countermeasure (NMCM) is to evolve current capacities with acquisition of systems that are accurate, modularised, portable, deployable and operable from any platform including from ashore, while minimising ship’s staff exposure to explosive ordnance.