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Bluefin, Battelle, and The Columbia Group Investing to Propel Proteus Vehicle into the Seas

Bluefin Robotics, a subsidiary of Battelle, is joining with The Columbia Group to invest in the next generation large submersible vehicle.

Bluefin is a leader in design and manufacture of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) and related technology. Battelle has a long history of meeting the technology needs of the U.S. Navy including work on the Advanced SEAL Delivery System. The Columbia Group has provided the U.S. and foreign navies with Swimmer Delivery Vehicles for more than 20 years.

The Columbia Group currently is developing the hull mechanical and electrical systems for the large Dual Mode Undersea Vehicle, capable of operation in either manned or autonomous modes. Called Proteus, it will be advanced by incorporating Bluefin’s autonomy technology for use in unmanned missions. Bluefin is also supplying mission planning capabilities and the power solution. Battelle is providing battery charging and systems integration support. Developers plan to hold an at-sea demonstration in the spring.

The Navy has persistently outlined the need for industry to develop next-generation UUVs with increased mission time, range and payload capacity.

“Our team has overlapping competencies, proven products and ongoing efforts that will benefit this development,” said David P. Kelly, President and CEO of Bluefin Robotics. “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.”

Dubbed a “beastly drone” by Wired Magazine last year, the vehicle is 25-feet long, weighs 6,200 pounds and has up to 400 pounds of lift capability. It is capable of operating unmanned or manned.

“The Columbia Group has a strong history of developing and manufacturing both manned and unmanned undersea vehicles for military customers around the world,” said Ross Lindman, Senior Vice President for the Columbia Group’s Engineering Solutions Division. “Working with Battelle and Bluefin only strengthens our ability to build this specialized craft for our Navy customers.”

Source : Bluefin Robotics

Published on ASDNews: Feb 22, 2012

 

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