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    HomeMilitaryU.S. Navy and DIU Evaluate Next-Gen Undersea Autonomous Prowess

    U.S. Navy and DIU Evaluate Next-Gen Undersea Autonomous Prowess

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    The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the U.S. Navy carried out a commercial assessment of Large Diameter Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LDUUV) systems.

    These demonstrations, conducted by industry leaders KONGSBERG Discovery and Oceaneering International Inc., underscore a strategic shift toward integrating autonomous systems into the U.S. naval fleet.

    KONGSBERG Discovery’s HUGIN AUV and Oceaneering’s Freedom AUV were put to the test during comprehensive demonstrations that took place in Norway, offering the U.S. defense representatives a firsthand experience of these systems’ operational capabilities.

    In the future, cutting-edge UUVs will complement submarine fleets by autonomously conducting sensing operations and delivering payloads in complex, scattered, deep-sea conditions.

    These demonstrations play a crucial role as fundamental evaluations to identify capability deficiencies and shape future development priorities.

    With the HUGIN AUV program, KONGSBERG has delivered over 100 systems globally, serving both commercial and government customers.

    150414-N-PO203-068 NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (Apr. 14, 2015) Rear Adm. Mat Winter, chief of naval research, holds a press conference at the joint Office of Naval Research (ONR), Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) exhibit during the Navy League’s 50th annual Sea-Air-Space Exposition. Winter talked about various ONR technologies on display during the exposition including the Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle-Innovative Naval Prototype (LDUUV-INP), Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Swarming Technology (LOCUST), Ground-Based Air Defense On-the-Move (GBAD) and the ONR’s Medium Displacement Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MDUSV). (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

    Espen Henriksen, Executive Vice President Uncrewed Platforms Division, expressed his satisfaction with the demonstration, stating, “I am extremely pleased with the visit and demonstrations we held for the team sent by DIU and the U.S. Navy.”

    He stressed the opportunity the visitors had to witness the AUV’s in-water capabilities as well as shoreside sessions that highlighted the company’s longstanding experience in the deep water AUV space.

    Introduced in 2021, HUGIN Endurance stands as the largest model within Kongsberg Discovery’s HUGIN lineup of AUVs.

    Apart from Kongsberg’s usual set of mapping sensors, this vehicle comes equipped with a spacious adaptable compartment for accommodating a mix of batteries and specialized payloads as required.

    The setup is structured to enable independent operations right from the shore, and when fully loaded with batteries, it can remain at sea for up to 15 days, covering distances of up to 2200 km (1200 nm).

    Rich Patterson, Vice President of Sales, Uncrewed Platforms Division, highlighted the AUVs’ dual-use design, saying, “Our continued development has resulted in systems that have the capabilities to meet many naval requirements ‘out of the box’.”

    Conversely, Oceaneering’s Freedom AUV showcased its versatility through a week-long demonstration, proving its abilities in undocking, docking, obstacle avoidance, precision payload placement, survey, and transit.

    Senior Director Peter Buchanan remarked, “Our collaborative sessions have been instrumental in highlighting the unit’s proven capabilities, efficient data retrieval, amazing vehicle control and autonomy, precise mission planning, and effective troubleshooting strategies.”

    He further emphasized the team’s ability to overcome challenging weather conditions and deliver exceptional performance, which “has truly exemplified the power of innovation and teamwork.”

    Relevant articles:
    A Full Week of AUV Demonstrations for DIU and US Navy, azorobotics.com
    A full week of AUV demonstrations for DIU and US Navy, Hellenic Shipping News
    Oceaneering demonstrates new AUV for Navy and Defense Innovation Unit, WorkBoat
    Freedom™ AUV Successfully Completes U.S. Navy Demonstration, Oceaneering

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