General Dynamics Mission Systems unveiled its new Bluefin-9 unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) at the Oceans 2018 show, the company announced in a press release on Tuesday. “The portable UUV provides the same data collection capabilities of larger UUVs, and can be deployed and recovered from piers, a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) or other vessels of opportunity,” the release stated.
Newly re-engineered, this vehicle combines high navigational accuracy, outstanding sonar resolution, and precision manufacturing and is capable of delivering highly-detailed subsurface data in minutes to meet an array of requirements ranging from defense, commercial and academic customers. The Bluefin-9 is equipped with a removable data storage module (RDSM) for storing high-definition images, video and sonar data and can be accessed within minutes of the vehicle’s recovery.
It delivers mission endurance of up to eight hours at a speed of three-knots, and can reach speeds of six-knots and dive to 200 meters. Because of its modularity, customers can exchange both the RDSM and battery to redeploy the Bluefin-9 in 30 minutes or less. These capabilities are in alignment with environmental surveying, water quality measurement, search and recovery, security, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and other tactical missions.
Carlo Zaffanella, a vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Mission Systems was quoted saying, “General Dynamics has invested in the redesigned Bluefin-9 and a broad team of engineering experts has made significant improvements to the design, production quality, modularity and reliability of the entire Bluefin Robotics product family to deliver cost-effective UUVs with more mission capability and range. We are proud to introduce this first product of a new generation of UUVs, designed to meet the dynamic operational challenges of our defense and commercial customers.”
General Dynamics provides an 18-month product warranty on the Bluefin-9, as well as training for UUV operators, demonstrated in this video-Bluefin-9 video.