Hydroid, Inc. a leading manufacturer of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) announced that the Estonian Ministry of Defence has signed a contract to acquire two lightweight REMUS 100 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).
As a member of NATO since 2004, the Estonian Navy's top priority is the development of mine countermeasure capability and the REMUS 100 is ideally suited to meet this requirement. "We welcome the Estonian Navy as the latest addition to the growing number of navies now leveraging the REMUS capability for both Organic and Dedicated Mine Countermeasure operations. The REMUS autonomous underwater vehicle technology enables fast, accurate and safer operations," commented Graham Lester Director, Hydroid Europe.
During World War I and II, more than 80,000 sea mines were laid in the Baltic Sea. Since 1995, a number of mine clearance operations have been carried out in Estonian waters in close co-operation with other navies of the Baltic Sea region, in order to find and dispose of these ordnances. Finding the ordnances has been a potentially dangerous task to all involved, but soon can be accomplished safely by only one-man deploying and operating the compact REMUS 100.
Over the past six years, Hydroid, the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC), in La Spezia, Italy, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), have widely demonstrated the REMUS technology throughout NATO. In June, the Estonian Navy had the opportunity, as participants in BALTOPS 2008, to see how the REMUS worked as part of an exercise to improve interoperability with NATO and PFP nations by conducting peace support operations at sea, including gunnery exercises, replenishment-at-sea, undersea warfare, radar tracking, mine countermeasures, seamanship, search and rescue, maritime interdiction operations and scenarios dealing with potential real world crises and maritime security. Thirteen other nations participated in this exercise
"We are pleased that the Estonian Navy has confidence in Hydroid and our REMUS technology. Once the systems are accepted for in-service use, the Estonian Navy will become the seventh NATO Navy to include REMUS in their complement of systems used to conduct expeditionary shallow water mine countermeasure operations. We are confident that the REMUS systems will meet the operational expectations of the Navy," stated Kevin McCarthy, Vice President Marketing & Sales of Hydroid.
Hydroid's AUVs are being used by many navies around the world, including the U.S. Navy, Royal Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy, German Navy Test Lab, Royal Norwegian Navy, Royal Netherlands Navy and the Belgian Navy.