Ocius partners with ThayerMahan, sells bluebottle USVs to USA

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Image credit: Ocius

Today marks a significant milestone for Ocius Technology Limited as the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) formally welcomed its sixth Bluebottle Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV), designated BB706.

Coinciding with this event, Ocius announced the sale of two Bluebottle USVs to the USA for AUD 2.4 million and a strategic Teaming Agreement with renowned US Defense Prime contractor ThayerMahan.

The collaboration aims to advance the development of the Outpost System on Ocius’ Bluebottle USVs, the company said in a press release.

The sale to the USA follows a successful demonstration in San Diego at the end of April 2024, where Ocius showcased two Bluebottle USVs alongside ThayerMahan.

Bluebottle BONNIE engaged in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) exercises within San Diego Harbor, while Bluebottle BETH operated 15NM off the coast, equipped with ThayerMahan’s Outpost passive array system.

This demonstration, conducted sustainably using renewable energy for five days, proved the effectiveness of the collaborative technology.

Matt Thistlethwaite, assistant minister for Defence, expressed his appreciation for the innovative collaboration between industry, academia, and defence, highlighting Ocius’ partnership with UNSW in delivering cutting-edge uncrewed maritime surveillance vessels for the RAN.

Robert Dane, CEO of Ocius, emphasised the shared technological expertise between the partnering companies.

“Recently, in San Diego, engineers from both companies worked as a team to combine ThayerMahan’s TRL8 (-9) Outpost system with our TRL8 (-9) Bluebottle USVs,” Dane remarked.

Acknowledging the support of the Australian Government, Ocius recognised the instrumental role of the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and the RAN in developing and evaluating the Bluebottle USV’s capabilities over the past nine years.

Mike Connor, CEO of ThayerMahan, praised the collaboration, emphasizing the enhanced maritime domain awareness provided by combining ThayerMahan’s Outpost system with Bluebottle’s maneuverability and payload capacity.

Commodore Mick Turner of the RAN hailed the sale to the USA as validation of the collaborative efforts in developing the Bluebottle USV.

“This sale to the USA is validation of our collaboration with Ocius and the Defence Science and Technology Group in developing this capability. The Bluebottle USV developed by Ocius is proving to be a game changer,” he noted.

Dr Greg Bain, chief of Platforms at DSTG, described the collaborative R&D experience with Ocius as invaluable in rapidly prototyping and deploying maritime autonomy and communications capabilities.

Austrade’s Anamika Mishra commended Ocius’ achievement in securing its first international sale.

“We congratulate Ocius on achieving its first international sale following Sea Air Space, the Team Defence Australia led trade mission to Washington earlier this year,” Mishra stated.

Professor Attila Brungs, vice-chancellor and president of UNSW, celebrated Ocius’ growth as a testament to successful industry-academia collaboration.

Meanwhile, Maroun El Khoury, executive director of Investment NSW Industry and Investment, praised Ocius’ achievement and highlighted the role of collaboration between academia, industry, and government in fostering innovation and job creation.