Sydney underwater drone maker joins US warfare consortium

Sydney underwater drone maker joins US warfare consortium

Underwater drone manufacturer Aquabotix (ASX: UUV) has been accepted as a member of the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) consortium.

The consortium is focused on advancing information warfare capabilities to enhance United States Navy and United States Marine Corps mission effectiveness.

Aquabotix's acceptance into this exclusive consortium will open the manufacturer up to contracting with the US Government.

Additionally, Aquabotix will gain access to the US Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement, which is valued at over US$100 million.

The group says it was accepted into the IWRP consortium because it is a demonstrated tech leader with competencies in autonomy, assured communications and battlespace awareness.

United States Navy rear admiral C.D. Becker said last month that the IWRP OTA agreement will allow military acquisitions to happen a lot faster than through other processes.

"The IWRP OTA will accelerate acquisition and bring non-traditional sources, research and development labs, and industry together to provide new, innovative information warfare solutions," says Becker.

Chief executive officer of Aquabotix, Whitney Million, says the company being accepted into the consortium will rapidly advance the company's capabilities.

"It is a privilege to be joining other industry leaders in the IWRP," says Million.

"We anticipate participation in this consortium will provide access to key partners and customers while enabling rapid research and prototyping using non-dilutive funding options under the OTA to support our goal of continuing to develop innovative and leading-edge solutions and product offerings for the U.S. and allied governments."

Earlier this year, Aquabotix struck up a deal with the US Naval Undersea Water Centre to test its SwarmDiver product at the Narragansett Bay Test Facility in Rhode Island.

SwarmDivers are micro unmanned surface vehicles (USV) which operate as a single unit and can be used across several applications that require sensor payloads in defence, oceanography and aquaculture.

Aquabotix also maintains an active and growing presence across Australia and New Zealand, as well as the Asia Pacific.

Shares in Aquabotix are up 1.47 per cent to $0.07 per share at 11.28am AEST.

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