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DOD Greenlights Second Phase of Contract Work on Ocean-Going Replenishment System

Autonomous replenishment


DOD Greenlights Second Phase of Contract Work on Ocean-Going Replenishment System

The Department of Defense will soon test a full-scale autonomous ocean-going replenishment system featuring technology-driven kits that are designed to transform existing barges into self-moving platforms that can land and refuel military aircraft.

Sea Machines Robotics recently signed an agreement with the Defense Innovation Unit to begin the second phase of a contract in support of the deployment of the replenishment platform.

Under the deal, the DIU committed up to $3.1 million to the experimentation and deployment of the system with the goal of improving the U.S. military’s operational capabilities at sea using autonomous technologies, Nextgov reported.

According to Sea Machines business development head Philip Bourque, the kits convert “conventional deck barges into self-propelled, expeditionary” platforms that can replenish rotary wing aircraft, shore stations and surface vessels.

He also noted in an email to Nextgov that while the kits were originally designed to serve as commercial-off-the-shelf refueling platforms, they can also be used in other applications such as medical and humanitarian operations.

The second phase of the contract focuses on transitioning the system to the design and trial stage.

Sea Machines is working on the project with support from Huntington Ingalls, Bell Flight and FOSS Maritime, a Seattle, Washington-based maritime transportation and logistics provider.

FOSS’ work is to provide naval architecture, support engineering and operations management to allow for the outfitting of a remotely commanded deck barge to land helicopters.

FOSS is also helping host a scaled fueling station for aircraft, surface vessels and shore replenishment.

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Category: Defense and Intelligence

Tags: autonomous technology Bell Flight contract award Defense and Intelligence Defense Innovation Unit Department of Defense DIU DoD FOSS Maritime Huntington Ingalls Nextgov Philip Bourque Sea Machines second phase