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UK extends SeeByte software support for MHC programme

Two Atlas Elektronik UK ARCIMS with SeaCat AUVs onboard and (insets) screenshots of SeeByte's software showing mission planning, monitoring, and post-mission analysis for the SeaCat. (SeeByte/Atlas Elektronik UK)

UK-based software house SeeByte has been contracted by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for at least three more years of software support and development in support of the Royal Navy's (RN's) Mine Hunting Capability (MHC) programme, the company said in a press release.

Awarded by the MoD's Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation in mid-May, the contract is extendable from three years up to five, and from its base award of GBP2.4 million (USD3 million) up to GBP50 million (USD63.6 million) over the full contract term. The scope of delivery will see SeeByte provide its suite of command and control (C2), mission-level autonomy, target recognition, support, and development services to the MHC delivery team.

Following approval to move forward with MHC Block 2 long-lead and transition activity, the MoD has confirmed to Janes that SeeByte will be involved in Block 2 as well as Block 1 tasks, adding that the contract will allow the company to support MoD requirements as they arise and subject to the timing of requirements.

The MHC programme is intended to deliver to the RN a next-generation mine countermeasures (MCM) capability based on autonomous ‘system of systems' packages that will be capable of executing MCM operations both in home waters and overseas. The overarching aim of MHC is to exploit advances in technology in areas such as autonomy, sensors, and advanced data processing techniques in order to increase the tempo of MCM, improve survey ‘product', enhance transportability of MCM systems through ‘modularisation', and take crews out of the mine danger area.

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