Sydney-based Ocius launched three Bluebottle Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs) – Brizo (the Greek goddess of mariners), Bluey and Beacon - at an event held at the company's Randwick campus on Friday.
The three Bluebottles join Beth and Bonnie as the five next-gen Beth-class USVs, which at 22' are 3' longer than previous iterations Bruce and Bob and contain twice the power, payload, performance and winch size, while still enabling transport by an RTA-registered trailer and launch and recovery (LARS) from a conventional boat ramp by two people.
The three Bluebottles will join Beth and Bonnie in Darwin by September to demonstrate the potential capability of an intelligent network of persistent USVs armed with Thales thin line sonar arrays, radars, cameras and other sensors.
Civilian applications for the boats include marine and weather monitoring in hard-to-reach areas, GPS mapping or hydrocarbon monitoring.
"Fossil-fuel powered USVs don't have great persistence and are noisy; and some other countries run USVs on renewable energy," CEO and founder Rob Dane said. "But the Bluebottle uniquely uses three forms of renewable energy under seven patents in multiple countries."
The event was attended by Rear Admiral Pete Quinn, who christened Bluey.
"It's a pleasure to be here as the Navy sponsor for this magnificent capability," RADM Quinn said. "Five of these vessels will work as a collaborative team to help inform us as to how we can employ this technology.
"We don't have the mass to allow persistent surveillance of our immediate strategic area of interest. This is what we need to do that in a more complex security environment."