Kongsberg Maritime subsidiary Hydroid's littoral battlespace sensing (LBS) autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) has entered into full-rate production (FRP) for the US Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).
The US Navy had awarded an $8.4m cost-plus-incentive-fee and firm-fixed-price-competitive contract, including five options to Hydroid in 2010 to provide AUVs and associated support equipment for LBS.
Cleared by the US Navy's Milestone Decision Authority (MDA), the Navy's Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (PEO C4I), the FRP approval of the Hydroid's LBS-AUV follows successful completion of the engineering development model (EDM) phase.
Following the FRP grant, the US SPAWAR has ordered three LBS AUVs, which include REMUS 600s and one shipset comprising a launch and recovery system (LARS), a LARS flat rack, mission and maintenance vans, as well as vehicle support equipment.
The REMUS 600 AUV will feature advanced technologies to collect, process and share accurate and crucial meteorological and oceanographic data for enhanced decision-making.
The REMUS family of vehicles is capable of configuring to perform 1,500m or 3,000m operations. The highly versatile REMUS 600 system can remain operational for up to 70 hours, while the increased size and power capacity allows it to carry large payloads to meet mission requirements.
In addition to supporting navy requirements, the AUVs will also support missions such as hydrographic surveys, harbour security operations, debris field mapping, environmental monitoring, fishery operations, scientific sampling and mapping, as well as search and salvage operations.
Work on the contract will be carried out at the company's headquarters in Pocasset, Massachusetts, US, while the LBS-AUVs deliveries are expected to continue through 2017.
More than 200 Hydroid REMUS AUVs are currently operational worldwide.
Image: Hydroid's Remus 600-S autonomous underwater vehicle. Photo: courtesy of Kongsberg Maritime AS.