Sea Platforms

NRL looks to modify Black Pearl experimental AUVs

28 January 2019

The US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is planning to modify and update its inventory of five Black Pearl autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to accommodate a series of new payloads.

Originally developed by General Dynamics Mission Systems’ Bluefin Robotics business under a contract awarded in January 2014, the 21-inch Black Pearl AUV is a customised variant of the company’s Bluefin-21 vehicle. According to the NRL, the Black Pearl programme was established to support various strands of research, including long-range and multistatic mine-hunting and anti-submarine warfare programmes, and distributed sensing research.

In a request for information (RFI) released on 22 January, the NRL disclosed its intention to introduce several changes to the five Black Pearl AUVs.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at

(138 of 315 words)