Oceaneering Freedom™ AUV Successfully Completes Demonstration for U.S. Navy and Defense Innovation Unit

April 4, 2024

Freedom AUV offshore Norway

Houston, Texas – Oceaneering International, Inc. announces today that its Subsea Robotics segment recently completed a successful one-week Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) demonstration for the U.S. Navy and Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) at Oceaneering’s subsea autonomy testing facility in Norway.

During the week, Oceaneering demonstrated its portfolio of capabilities to design, engineer, operate, and maintain the Freedom™ AUV, which was picked to evaluate capabilities of the platform for potential future development of a Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV) prototype. The demonstration included several days of at-sea testing where Oceaneering successfully demonstrated many of the autonomous capabilities of the Freedom™ AUV, including undocking, docking, obstacle avoidance, precision payload placement, survey, and transit.

Peter Buchanan, Senior Director for Oceaneering’s Subsea Robotics segment, stated: “It has been an extraordinary experience spending this week with the U.S. Navy and DIU showcasing the exceptional capabilities of our Freedom™ AUV unit. Our collaborative sessions have been instrumental in highlighting the unit’s proven capabilities, efficient data recovery, amazing vehicle control and autonomy, precise mission planning, and effective troubleshooting strategies.

“Despite the unpredictable weather conditions, we maximized our time and successfully displayed Oceaneering’s proficiency in tackling complex challenges, proving our ability to solve the unsolvable. This week has truly exemplified the power of innovation and teamwork in pushing boundaries and achieving remarkable results. Spending the time with an informed and enthusiastic team from the U.S. Navy and DIU has been extremely beneficial to our team.”

The demonstration of Oceaneering’s Freedom™ AUV represents an important milestone in the progression of U.S. defense capabilities for maritime defense and preparedness. Ultimately, advanced UUVs will supplement submarine fleets by conducting autonomous sensing and delivering payloads in challenging, dispersed, deep-sea environments. These events serve as critical baseline assessments to understand capability gaps and inform future development priorities.

Oceaneering previously announced in February 2024 that DIU had selected the company to test and develop the Freedom for its LDUUV effort. This one-week demonstration is the first phase of this contract.  Phase two, if executed, will contain prototype development tasks.