Our Bureau
01:13 PM, October 14, 2015
Alan Steber with Bluebottle Stinger drone vessel

The Australian Ministry of Defense has recently awarded Aus $3 million to Steber to develop an unmanned anti-submarine warfare surveillance vessel.

The drone surface vessel will be jointly developed by Ocius and Steber to target submarines, Steber said in a press release Tuesday.

Steber International unveiled an unmanned 'drone' sea vessel Ocius at the Pacific15 expo in Sydney last week.

The contract will allow Steber and Ocius to develop a high performance version of the Bluebottle USV with an integrated thin-line towed array sonar system developed by Thales Australia.

The Bluebottle unmanned surface vessel (USV) which uses a combination of wind, wave and solar power for propulsion.

Initially the contract will involve building a longer 5.8 metre version of the 2.8 metre oceanographic ‘Nemo’ USV.

Typically anti-submarine warfare (ASW) is conducted by large vessels such as frigates and submarines fitted with towed arrays, or by airborne assets. This is expensive, commits valuable personnel resources and is limited by the endurance of the platform.

The ultimate aim of the project is to demonstrate the viability of a low cost, long-range, covert and persistent USV detection capability that will complement and enhance the ability of navy surface forces to detect and track modern submarines and torpedoes.