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U.S. Navy Orders VideoRay’s Defender ROVs for Underwater Missions

Defender 400x275

August 17, 2022

VideoRay LLC, which develops remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for underwater tasks, has announced that the U.S. Navy has placed a large and diverse order for its Defender ROVs. The Navy is standardizing on VideoRay Defender Mission Specialist systems due to its capabilities, flexibility and upgradability of several systems deployed since 2019, the company said. Customer support for the Navy includes training facilities and staff on the East Coast in Pottstown, Pa., and on the West Coast in San Diego.

Recent new capabilities for Defender systems are evolving rapidly due to close cooperation testing and development between VideoRay, its component manufacturers and several units of the Navy. These include the ability to autonomously identify and defeat underwater mines and perform other tasks with minimal or no active user input. Defender units now can go deeper, can be equipped with batteries and lightweight splash-proof controllers and communicate without tethers over long distances underwater. 

Among those working with the Defender platform are:

  • Greensea Systems of Richmond, Vermont, USA – greensea.com
  • Blueprint Subsea of Ulverston, Cumbria, United Kingdom – blueprintsubsea.com
  • Nortek of Rud, Norway – nortekgroup.com
  • Eddyfi of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada – eddyfi.com
  • Zero Point of Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA – zeropointusa.com
  • Tetac, Monterey, California, USA – tetacinc.com
  • Nauticus Robotics of Webster, Texas, USA – nauticusrobotics.com
  • Sarcos/RE2 of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA – sarcos.com
  • OceanComm of Chicago, Illinois, USA – oceancomm.co
  • More than 25 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) projects using Mission Specialist technology

“We’ve worked very hard with our U.S. government and commercial partners to expand the missions that can be accomplished with a man-portable remotely operated vehicle,” said Mark Fleming, vice president of defense and government at VideoRay. “I’m proud of how everyone is coalescing on a single platform with many configurations and missions.”

Marcus Kolb, VideoRay’s chief technology officer, added, “I’m proud to lead the engineering of future naval capabilities — proving we can do real work at one kilometer of depth, acoustically transceive video and telemetry data through one kilometer of open ocean, and find and neutralize mines autonomously. We designed the Defender system to be powerful, open and flexible so it could handle large payloads, instruments and tools — many of which hadn’t been conceived when we designed the platform. We are delighted to see how well the Defender systems have been working with larger, more complex payloads and missions than we had initially envisioned.”

VideoRay said it has delivered or has firm orders from 20 other navies and coast guards from allied nations beyond the U.S. Navy. As a result of these orders and commercial orders, VideoRay said it expects revenue in 2022 to be roughly double that of 2021 and is in the process of building up its manufacturing capacity to meet this ramped-up demand.

For more information on the Defender ROV system, visit the VideoRay website here.

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