20 Jun 2019

Kraken wins contract for unmanned maritime vehicles

Robotics firm Kraken has won a $0.9million contract to create unmanned maritime vehicles for the US military.

Kraken Robotic Systems Inc. has been selected by the US Office of the Secretary of Defense, Comparative Test Office, to participate in a Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) program providing unmanned maritime vehicles. The FCT is designed to test selected foreign technologies as evaluated by US military operators, with a view to future procurement.

Under this contract, Kraken will integrate its AquaPix® MINSAS sensor on a man-portable Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) owned by the U.S. Navy. Man-portable AUVs make up the largest deployment of all AUV classes world-wide. As part of this FCT contract, Kraken will optimise the MINSAS 60 sensor making it better suited for small, man-portable AUVs while offering a significant increase in capability and performance for man-portable platforms.

Kraken CEO Karl Kenny said: “We are very pleased to be awarded this FCT contract as this represents a truly significant opportunity for Kraken. The competition for FCT awards is fierce and only a few projects each year that meet the strict criteria are selected.”

“An acceptable FCT project must have a high technology readiness level, which means that research and testing must have already been completed, and the capability has already been proven in a setting similar to what will be encountered in real-world operations. We believe this initial contract will further prove our MINSAS 60 is a reasonably priced, high-performance sonar upgrade path for existing man-portable AUVs as well as new builds.”

The U.S. Navy and its allies continue to invest in man-portable AUVs, which today utilise a range of sonar technologies. Kraken’s AquaPix® MINSAS synthetic aperture sonar sensor is currently offered in the MINSAS 60, 120, 180, and 240 configurations and has been traditionally integrated to medium- and large-size AUVs and towfish.

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