Hydroid, LLC, a leading manufacturer of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), announced today that it was awarded a multi-system, multi-year contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to supply the Royal Navy with REMUS 600 AUVs. The contract specifies for the supply of two REMUS 600 systems complete with operating, deployment, recovery and support equipment, and training and associated logistic support. The contract also exercised options for two additional vehicles and ancillary equipment. The REMUS units will greatly enhance the Royal Navy's mine countermeasures capability within the littoral area, providing a detailed maritime survey, mine detection and classification capability in the 30m to 200m depth range.
Scheduled to enter service with the Royal Navy in early 2009, the REMUS 600 AUV systems will have a primary role of mine reconnaissance, so called MCM Recce, but can also be tasked to conduct hydrographic surveys and environmental assessments. In addition, the systems can be used in a general search and salvage role in support of humanitarian operations involving both military and civilian authorities. Hydroid's REMUS AUVs were also selected by the Royal Navy because they are individually deployable assets, capable of being moved at short notice by sea, land and air.
Hydroid has teamed with Babcock Design & Technology (BD&T), a business unit within Babcock Engineering Services, a U.K. based leading Support Services company with offices in Rosyth, Scotland and Weymouth, Dorset. BD&T will assist Hydroid by providing programme and risk management, trials support, ship installation design and safety assessment as well as assistance in providing U.K. based training and logistical support for the five year duration of the in-service support phase.
"The proven technology of Hydroid's REMUS system will greatly enhance existing Royal Navy MCM capability," said Phil Jenkin, Mine Counter Measures Project Manager of UK Ministry of Defence. "Rather than replace existing systems, the REMUS 600 AUVs will add new capabilities and act as a force-multiplier, allowing existing assets to conduct operations independently. Hydroid offered the Ministry of Defence the highest confidence in meeting the Royal Navy's technical requirements and achieving the best acquisition and whole life value with its REMUS 600 vehicles."
"We are very pleased to continue our working relationship with the UK Ministry of Defence and the Royal Navy with this agreement," said Chris von Alt, Hydroid's president and cofounder. "This contract further solidifies our position as a trusted supplier of multi-mission, multi-purpose AUVs to many navies around the world. We look forward to helping extend the Royal Navy's MCM reconnaissance capabilities with the proven capabilities of our leading technology."
The partnership between Hydroid and BD&T was first established in 2005 during the highly successful contract to provide a very shallow water capability in the format of REMUS 100 vehicles to the Royal Navy. "It was a natural progression to continue to work together with Hydroid to provide a robust and winning proposal for the larger REMUS 600 capability," said Barry Johnson, General Manager of BD&T, Weymouth. BD&T offers leading edge design, engineering, technical and project management services to the defence, transport, oil and gas, marine and utilities sectors and is well placed to support Hydroid in this project. BD&T will be working very closely with the recently established Hydroid Europe facility based in Southampton, UK.
Hydroid's REMUS AUVs can be fitted with a number of different types of sensors and cameras and have been used to aid in hydrographic surveys, harbor security operations, debris field mapping and scientific sampling and mapping. Hydroid's AUVs are currently being used by many navies around the world, including the U.S. Navy, Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal Netherlands Navy and the Belgian Navy.