MCLEAN, Va. and GULFPORT, Miss. — HII (NYSE: HII) and Ocean Aero initiated a strategic agreement to advance the combined capabilities of their respective unmanned maritime platforms and autonomy software solutions. The unmanned solution providers recently commenced multiple, simultaneous efforts to enhance the operational reach and duration of the platforms, collaborative autonomy behaviors, shared sensor fusion and perception capabilities, and accelerated seabed-to-shore data transmission methods.
“We are pleased to partner with Ocean Aero to further expand the operational capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces, partner nations and other maritime-focused commercial institutions,” said Duane Fotheringham, president of the Unmanned Systems business group at HII’s Mission Technologies division. “We are excited to combine the best of our individual products to deliver an exceptional suite of solutions to our customers.”
Kevin Decker, Ocean Aero chief executive officer, added: “This is the perfect time for us to partner with HII. With rising maritime challenges increasing worldwide, we need new capabilities to meet them. Incorporating our two firms’ autonomous vehicle value propositions will unlock new tools for our customers at home and abroad.”
HII and Ocean Aero are involved in several unmanned maritime systems initiatives and exercises across the globe. Ocean Aero recently completed Digital Horizon, the U.S. Fifth Fleet Maritime Domain Awareness exercise in the Arabian Gulf, where HII’s REMUS vehicles (MK18 Mod 1 and MK18 Mod 2) have been deployed continuously since 2013. The HII-Ocean Aero team is already planning to demonstrate their combined capabilities at an upcoming event in the region, in addition to other planned events and exercises for U.S. and international partners.
HII is the preeminent unmanned underwater vehicle manufacturer and a pioneer in the UUV industry, continuously producing REMUS vehicles since the early 2000s. HII manufactures a full range of REMUS UUVs, from small to extra-large, with endurance ranging from several hours to months at depths down to 6,000 meters. More than 600 REMUS UUVs have been sold across the globe, with a majority of those still in operational use today. Additionally, HII’s Odyssey autonomy software solution offers scalable autonomy aligned with open architecture standards, including Unmanned Maritime Autonomy Architecture.
Ocean Aero pioneered the world’s first and only environmentally powered Autonomous Underwater and Surface Vehicle, the TRITON, which collects data both above and below the ocean’s surface and relays it to users from anywhere at any time. Dual modalities allow users to integrate a variety of sensor payloads and communications capabilities, expanding the ocean data collection possibilities and breaking paradigms created by manned platforms. Persistent collections and real-time data transmissions are feeding the most complex models for weather, climate and ocean health and creating transformational change in the maritime space.