BAE Reflects One Year after Takeover of Riptide
One year ago, the FAST Labs R&D arm of BAE Systems announced the acquisition of Riptide Autonomous Solutions, with the goal to pair Riptide’s unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) with BAE's mission system capabilities in autonomy, navigation, communications, sensor processing and electronic warfare, among others.
The Riptide family of UUVs includes three offerings: the 4.875” diameter (25 lbs.) micro, the 7.5" diameter (65 to 120 lbs.) 1MP (man-portable) unit and the 9" (9.375”) diameter (120 to 240 lbs.) 2MP. The family of unmanned vehicles are designed to be sophisticated yet simple, efficient, and flexible platforms that offer performance discriminators on depth, range, endurance and speed.
“As joint all-domain operations become the Department of Defense’s (DoD) operational norm, there is increased need for undersea platforms capable of integrating key payload and autonomy technology,” said Dr. John Hogan, director of the Sensor Processing and Exploitation group at BAE Systems. “In the time since the acquisition was announced, we have made tremendous technology and integration progress that positions us to serve our DoD customer base as well as commercial, research and development, and educational organizations to affordably and expertly explore under the sea.”
BAE reflected recently on progress made in the last 12 months, including:
- New manufacturing facility – a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art prototype and production site in Plymouth, Mass., that increases capacity for both vehicle development and personnel focused on the Riptide product line.
- Commercial pricing model – established to streamline vehicle acquisition by employing standard, mission-focused system configurations that satisfy our broad customer base while continually enhancing vehicle quality, reliability and repeatability.
- System demonstrations – within just a few months of the acquisition, the team demonstrated an integrated solution at the Advanced Naval Technology Exercise, or ANTX 2019. The demonstration paired BAE's autonomy and radio frequency technology with the recently acquired platform, showcasing the ability to transition previously used air-domain technology into an undersea application.
- Product advancement – the new facility and additional internal investments led to a number of product milestones including the maturing of early prototypes into production-ready systems.
- Micro UUV – enhanced with new feature functionality.
- 1MP UUV – prototype completed.
- 2MP UUV – next generation design and prototype completed.
Additionally, BAE has developed the first prototype of its 6,000-meter-rated UUV.