Two companies are joining forces to develop a novel, next-generation submersible that will answer the US Navy’s call to come up with a solution featuring increased mission time, operational range and payload carrying capacity.
Battelle subsidiary Bluefin Robotics, which designs and manufactures Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) and related technology, and The Columbia Group, a specialist with expertise in military undersea vehicles, diving systems, and shipboard launch and recovery systems have teamed up to deliver a dual-mode (manned and autonomous) vehicle currently named Proteus.
The Columbia Group currently is developing the hull mechanical and electrical systems for the project, and Bluefin is supplying advanced autonomy technology for use in unmanned missions. Bluefin will also contribute mission planning capabilities and the power solution. Battelle is providing battery charging and systems integration support.
David P. Kelly, President and CEO of Bluefin Robotics, is a firm believer in the partnership approach to solving this particular design challenge. “By combining the strengths of our organizations, we can field a vehicle that will meet the Navy’s needs and take UUV capabilities to the next level,” Kelly said.
Proteus is 25-feet long, weighs 6,200 pounds and has up to 400 pounds of lift capability. Developers plan to hold an at-sea demonstration in the coming months.