REMUS 600 AUV Keeps
Sailors Out of Minefields
The Remote Environmental Measuring UnitS (REMUS) 600 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)
was commercialized by Hydroid Inc.
and is based on the smaller REMUS
100. The REMUS 600 was developed to provide a stable platform to
test synthetic-aperture sonars for
mine countermeasures (MCM) for
the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
The Navy operates 17 REMUS
600s. Five others are in use by ONR
in research and development roles.
Fifteen more REMUS 600s are
scheduled for delivery to the U.S.
Navy late this year, plus two spares.
Mineman 1st Class Lindsey Wohlgemuth, assigned to Explosive Ordnance
Disposal Unit 1, retrieves a Remote Environmental Measuring UnitS (REMUS)
600 after testing in Kaneohe Bay, off the coast of Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
REMUS 600 development began in
2003 at Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution. Hydroid shipped the first
commercial REMUS 600 in 2007.
Initial operational capability was
achieved in 2009 when four vehicles
were delivered to the United Kingdom. In February 2013, the U.S.
Navy moved the Littoral Battle Space
(LBS) AUV program to full-rate
production with an $8.4 million contract for three REMUS 600 LBS-AUVs, with a potential value of $77
million with options through 2017.
Development of the MK18 MOD2
system began in December 2007.
Four systems ( 12 vehicles) now are
deployable and scheduled to become
fully operational in fiscal 2015.
Chris von Alt is chief executive
officer of Hydroid Inc. in Pocasset,
Mass., a subsidiary of Norway’s
Kongsberg Maritime ASA.
The REMUS 600 provides our Navy with very detailed situational
awareness of the sea. The Navy can now operate in waters with a
much better understanding of the sea floor just below and sense changes
in the water column. Active reconnaissance of an area to identify hazards
to an amphibious landing force, assistance in the clearance of the sea lanes,
choke points and harbors, as well as peacetime surveys, are the most common current applications, but we are just beginning to integrate this technology into Navy requirements.
As an inherently modular and lightweight system, the air-transportable
REMUS 600 can be operated from almost every platform in the U.S. Navy.
Most commonly, the Navy operates the REMUS 600 from 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats deployed from the well decks of amphibious ships —
including USS Ponce, the afloat forward-staging base in the Fifth Fleet —
and from Pathfinder-class oceanographic survey ships, but the AUV can
also be operated from Combat Rubber Raiding Craft, Avenger-class MCM
ships and fleet ocean tugs.
The REMUS 600 can be configured for a variety of environments for the
MCM mission; most common sensors are the side-scan sonar, video camera, still cameras for locating mines and characterizing the environment
for divers. The REMUS has demonstrated successful and safe launch and
recovery evolutions in Sea State 5 from a Pathfinder-class ship.
REMUS 600s were first deployed in the Persian Gulf in 2012 and now
form part of the U.S. and U.K. permanent presence in the region, accumulating more than 500 hours of operation. Their deployment, according to fleet
commander Vice Adm. John Miller, allowed the Navy to withdraw two
of eight MCM ships from the region.