The Bluebottle unmanned surface surveillance vessel (USV) in development. Shown is Ocius CEO Dr Robe

News - Bluebottle unmanned surface surveillance vessel to be build for Australian Navy

Former Defence Minister Kevin Andrews announced last month that Ocius had been selected in this year’s Capability and Technology Demonstrator Program and awarded a $3million defence contract.

Ocius will develop a high performance Bluebottle unmanned surface surveillance vessel, in cooperation with Thales Australia, who will supply a towed array sonar system and Steber who will provide tooling for all fibreglass components and creating new models for tank testing.

Traditionally, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) is typically conducted by large vessels such as frigates and submarines fitted with towed sonar arrays, or aircraft, but this has proven expensive and uses considerable personnel resources.

Ocius aims to produce an ASW-USV demonstrator that provides an acoustically covert and persistent sonar capability that can be autonomously deployed in tactically significant areas.

Ocius CEO Dr Robert Dane said: “We are privileged to be awarded this contract and to be working with top navy technology specialists and businesses in Australia”.

“This $3million contract provides extensive validation of our strategy to draw on proprietary technology for the development of long range, autonomous surveillance and sensing platforms.

“We look forward to working closely with Thales Australia and alongside the universities of Wollongong, Sydney and UNSW, Steber International and Ulladulla Engineering and Fibreglass to demonstrate this world first proof of concept.”

“Our ultimate aim is to demonstrate a low cost, long range, persistent detection capability that enhances the ability of navy surface forces to detect and track modern submarines and torpedoes at realistic standoff distances”.

The Bluebottle USVs harvest wind, wave and solar energy to be self-propelled and can roam widely or stay on station while gathering data.

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