Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE: HII) made an equity investment in Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics in July and Andy Green, an executive vice president and president of HII Technical Solutions group and a 2020 Wash100 award winner, said that investment will enable the company to address the U.S. Navy’s requests and help the service branch learn more about unmanned platforms it intends to adopt, USNI News reported Tuesday.
“Unmanned vehicles – whether surface or sub-surface – they extend the reach and act as a multiplier of existing platforms for, whether it’s [the] United States Navy or one of our allies, it provides significant extension of those platforms’ capabilities, regardless of the specific mission the platform’s being used for,” Green told the publication in an interview.
He said HII believes the technological capabilities offered by Sea Machines have a lot of potential in the unmanned surface vessel industry and autonomy software is one of those.
“When you say autonomy, there’s a lot of subsets of autonomy that you got to think about, whether you’re thinking about controlling propulsion, you’re controlling steering and navigation, etc, or your control of whatever devices and sensors that you’ve got onboard,” Green added.
HII also expanded its capabilities in the autonomous and unmanned maritime systems market with its acquisition of Hydroid from Kongsberg Maritime in March. Green said investments in USV and unmanned undersea vehicle areas will allow the company to meet the Navy’s integration and interoperability needs as the service builds up its fleet of unmanned vehicles.
“I think the more that we can invest in and demonstrate that we can weave these technologies together across the UUV space and the USV space, I think the better it is for the Navy,” Green said. “Because the more commonality they have across their programs and the better these vehicles can communicate, not only with manned platforms, whether it be sub-sea, surface or air, but also communicate with other unmanned platforms – sub-sea, surface and air — it’s going to be helpful to them.”