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Oceaneering Freedom AUV readies for second demonstration for US Navy and DIU

Oceaneering was selected in February 2024 to prototype and develop the Freedom AUV as part of commercial evaluations of LDUUV systems by the DIU and the USN. (Oceaneering)

Oceaneering International's subsea robotics segment is poised to start a second week-long in-water demonstration of its Freedom autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for the US Navy (USN) and the US Department of Defense's (DoD's) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), a company official has confirmed.

The demonstration, which will start during the final week of June, will be carried out at Oceaneering's subsea autonomy testing facility in Norway. It is the second of two live, week-long demonstrations of the Freedom AUV to be carried out in Norway as part of the commercial evaluation of Large Diameter Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LDUUV) systems by the DIU and the USN.

Oceaneering's Aerospace and Defense Technologies (ADTech) business segment was awarded a contract by the DIU in February 2024 to develop and test its Freedom AUV as a potential LDUUV prototype for the USN's Program Office Advanced Undersea Systems.

The latest round of testing will complete the first phase of the contract. Phase two will contain prototype development and procurement tasks, as well as exercises.

The first week of demonstrations for phase one, which were carried out in March 2024 in Norway, included several days of at-sea testing where Oceaneering successfully demonstrated many of the autonomous capabilities of the Freedom AUV, including undocking, docking, obstacle avoidance, precision payload placement, survey, and transit. During the week, Oceaneering was also able to showcase its portfolio of capabilities to design, engineer, operate, and maintain the Freedom AUV.

During the latest round of demonstrations, the USN has provided several design reference missions to further demonstrate the system's autonomous potential.

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