Teledyne Brown Engineering has received approval from the US Navy for full-rate production (FRP) phase on the littoral battlespace sensing-glider (LBS-G) programme.

Under the $53.1m contract, the company will provide the US Navy with a total fleet of 150 marine gliders, if all options are exercised.

The 2m-long Slocum glider is a torpedo-shaped unmanned underwater vehicle that uses changes in buoyancy along with its wings and tail-fin steering to move through the water.

The underwater vehicles will be used by the navy to acquire critical oceanographic data to improve positioning of fleets during naval manoeuvres.

The design and development phase of the contract was completed in August 2010, after which the low -rate production contract was awarded in the December.

The Teledyne Team includes Teledyne Brown for system integration, Teledyne Webb Research for glider development and production, and the University of Washington – Applied Physics Lab for glider operations centre software.