(NEWPORT NEWS, Va.) — Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has announced the debut of the Proteus unmanned surface vessel (USV) for testing and development of autonomy capabilities. The 27-foot Proteus USV was outfitted with Sea Machines Robotics’ SM300 autonomy system and completed a successful demonstration on May 14 off the coast of Panama City, Fla.
“We are thrilled to launch our Proteus USV. The vessel performed exactly as expected with the SM300 system’s proven and safe autonomous capability,” said Duane Fotheringham, president of the Unmanned Systems business group in HII’s Technical Solutions division. “This marks a significant milestone in our commitment to advancing our unmanned systems capabilities and our continued partnership with Sea Machines to further develop USV solutions for our customers.”
For the demonstration, HII’s Proteus USV was equipped with commercial perception sensors, including GPS, automatic identification system, depth transducer, radar and a camera enabling a 360-degree field of view. HII deployed a separate 51-foot dive boat during the demonstration to illustrate SM300 system’s off-the-shelf solution including its obstacle avoidance capability and adherence to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
“Our autonomy systems are built around core principles of capability, reliability and ease of use,” Sea Machines CEO Michael G. Johnson said. “This initial Proteus USV demonstration proved the SM300 system performs as promised, and we look forward to our continued partnership with HII—supporting current and coming 21st century operational requirements on water.”
The Proteus USV will enable HII’s continued development of autonomy capabilities and sensor fusion to support the evolving needs of both government and commercial customers.
HII announced its minority share investment in Sea Machines in July 2020. Sea Machines’ SM300 system can be outfitted to ocean capable vessels to enable scalable autonomy, from remotely controlled to fully autonomous vessel operations.
HII on Monday also announced a U.S. Navy order of two REMUS 300 unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).
“REMUS UUVs have been used by the U.S. Navy for their defense operations for more than 20 years,” said Fotheringham. “We are pleased to provide them with the new REMUS 300 to support their critical national security missions.”
The two-man portable, small-class UUV offers swappable energy modules with up to 10, 20 or 30 hours of endurance. The open architecture and modularity allow REMUS 300 to be tailored to specific mission requirements and enable spiral development and upgrades as technology evolves.
Delivery of the commercial REMUS 300 UUVs is scheduled for mid-2022.
– Huntington Ingalls Industries