• Outpost Bluebottle Variant Operating in San Diego Harbor with USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in the background. 

Credit: Ocius
    Outpost Bluebottle Variant Operating in San Diego Harbor with USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in the background. Credit: Ocius

Sydney-based Ocius Technologies has sold two of its Bluebottle Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USV) to ThayerMahan for $2.4 million, marking the company’s entry into the competitive US market.

Under an agreement signed between the two companies alongside the sale, ThayerMahan will integrate its Outpost suite of sensors aboard the vessels, before deploying them off the US East Coast for marine mammal monitoring and capability demonstrations.

“Together, we will provide AUKUS nations with unprecedented maritime domain awareness, on and below the ocean’s surface, preserving their advantage in a changing and uncertain world,” said ThayerMahan CEO Mike Connor.

ThayerMahan’s two Bluebottles - Bonnie and Beth - will still be supported by Ocius under a contract with ThayerMahan during operations off the US East Coast. The company has already received both vessels at its headquarters in Gorton, Connecticut.

Ocius and ThayerMahan previously demonstrated how their two systems – Outpost and Bluebottle – could be integrated during a demonstration off San Diego, California, in April 2024.

That demonstration, the companies said, had shown the Outpost-Bluebottle combination to be “credible, operational and highly effective” at detecting and classifying undersea, surface, and airborne contacts approaching San Diego from offshore.

The collaboration isn’t just focused on undersea warfare though. The integration of Outpost, Ocius explained, provides the Bluebottle platform with new capabilities to perform maritime security, law enforcement, and environmental monitoring missions.

“Both companies share a mutual love of technology and the sea and have complementary proven products,” said Robert Dane, Chief Executive Officer of Ocius Technology.

“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 and then successfully achieved a results-driven demonstration.”

The largest operator of Bluebottle, however, remains the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) which ordered two more Bluebottles – for a total of seven - in February at a cost of $2 million.

“We are especially grateful to DSTG and Royal Australian Navy Warfare Innovation Branch, now called Maritime Integrated Systems, for their visionary work over the last nine years testing and evaluating our capability,” said Ocius CEO Robert Dane.

Ocius delivered the first of these two additional vessels to the Navy on the same day as the company announced the sale of Bluebottles Bonnie and Beth to ThayerMahan.

“Navy has supported the development of the Bluebottle Uncrewed Surface Vessel in Australia and now the San Diego demonstration,” said Commodore Mick Turner, Director General of Force Exploration within the Department of Defence.  

“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 added

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