Bluefin Robotics, a leading Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) manufacturer, has announced that the Naval Sea Systems Command, Indian Head Division has exercised an option in a previously awarded contract for the Bluefin-9 series AUV.
With a potential value of $29 million, the contract outlines procurement of AUV systems, support equipment, engineering support, and other services.
The vehicles are designed to perform Very Shallow Water Mine Countermeasures and will play a significant role in Port Security and Harbor Protection, as well as providing an expeditionary capability for force projection and protection. The Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) community will be the beneficiary of this capability. The Bluefin-9, in the SeaLion configuration, will aid EOD personnel in their duties to detect, localize and classify mines, and Undersea Improvised Explosive Devices. Equipped with a dual frequency side scan sonar and a sophisticated software suite, the vehicle will autonomously scan the seafloor for mine-like or other suspicious objects. Bluefin's lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery technology provides the vehicle with over 12 hours of dependable endurance and the ability to rapidly swap battery modules between missions.