Oceaneering International Inc. Houston, has revealed that its Subsea Robotics segment recently concluded 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.

Throughout the course of the week, Oceaneering showcased its comprehensive suite of capabilities in designing, engineering, operating, and maintaining the Freedom AUV, which was specifically selected to evaluate the platform's potential for future development of a Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (LDUUV) prototype. The demonstration involved multiple days of rigorous at-sea testing, during which Oceaneering effectively demonstrated various autonomous functions of the Freedom AUV, including undocking, docking, obstacle avoidance, precision payload placement, survey, and transit.

"It has been an exceptional experience collaborating with the U.S. Navy and DIU this week, showcasing the remarkable capabilities of our Freedom AUV unit," Peter Buchanan, senior director for Oceaneering’s Subsea Robotics segment, said in a prepared statement. "Our joint sessions have been pivotal in spotlighting the unit’s established capabilities, efficient data retrieval, impressive vehicle control and autonomy, precise mission planning, and effective troubleshooting strategies."

"The demonstration of Oceaneering’s Freedom AUV marks a significant milestone in advancing U.S. defense capabilities for maritime defense and readiness," Oceaneering officials said. "Ultimately, advanced UUVs will augment submarine fleets by autonomously sensing and delivering payloads in demanding, dispersed, deep-sea environments. These activities serve as crucial foundational assessments to comprehend capability gaps and shape future development priorities."

Oceaneering had previously announced in February 2024 that DIU had chosen the company to test and develop the Freedom for its LDUUV initiative. This one-week demonstration constitutes the initial phase of this contract. Phase two, if undertaken, will encompass prototype development tasks.