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Huntington Ingalls’ underwater drone program is dipping into the commercial market

Huntington Ingalls Industries' REMUS 300 unmanned undersea vehicle.

HUNTINGTON INGALLS INDUSTRIES/TNS

By DAVE RESS | The Daily Press | Published: April 20, 2021

(Tribune News Service) — Huntington Ingalls Industries is expanding its reach into the nonmilitary market for underwater drones, with the release of a commercial version of its REMUS 300 unmanned underwater vehicle.

It can dive deeper than the company’s other small underwater drone, reaching depths of 1,000 feet and operating for up to 30 hours at a time.

“It combines everything we’ve learned from more than 20 years of development on our REMUS 100 systems with enhancements like advanced modularity and a more robust structure and sensors,” said Duane Fotheringham, president of the Unmanned Systems business group in HII’s Technical Solutions division.

HII acquired the Massachusetts firm that developed the REMUS drone last year for $350 million. The firm had just delivered a REMUS 300 to the Navy.

The REMUS 300s will be primarily manufactured at the company’s Massachusetts facility.

“However, we will take advantage of our integrated manufacturing capability and may have contributions from any of our manufacturing facilities, including the Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence in Hampton,” HII spokeswoman Beci Brenton said.

She said HII believes the REMUS 300 is of interest to commercial markets, in which buyers use drones for offshore energy projects, hydrography, marine research, rapid environmental assessment, marine archaeology, offshore oil and gas, and renewables.

HII’s Hampton facility is assembling hull structures for the Orca XLUUV that Boeing Co. is delivering to the Navy. The facility’s second building, which is slated to be its main manufacturing operation, will open before the end of this year.

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