World’s first over-the-horizon high-endurance USV goes into production


Following a highly successful week at the Oceanology event at Excel, London, where Zero USV confirmed its partnership with marine technology suppliers including electric propulsion company RAD Propulsion, Hexagon, and Navtech Radar for the purchasing of key sensors and equipment in the supply and build of the fully autonomous Oceanus12 class USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels), the company confirms it’s well underway with the build of its first two vessels.

The USVs are being constructed by Manor Marine in Portland, Dorset and managing director, Matthew Ratsey (pictured, left), said: “It’s certainly been a whirlwind few weeks for us since we launched news of the world’s first fully autonomous high endurance charter USV fleet. We are on track to have the first two vessels on the water by this autumn and available for immediate charter following the successful conclusion of trials.

“The first shipment of aluminium is now being assembled, having arrived in Portland, laser cut, formed and bent, and ready for assembly. We are delighted to have reached exclusive supply arrangements with Hexagon who are providing an LD900 GNSS receiver and a survey-grade inertial measurement unit (IMU), in addition RAD Propulsion, who are supplying its state of the art RAD 40 electric propulsion systems including RAD batteries.”

Richard Turner, vice president of sales and marine operations for Hexagon’s Autonomy & Positioning division said: “We are excited to be part of this venture, and helping to take marine autonomy to the next level. Our positioning equipment is designed to be flexible and upgradeable, exactly what Zero USV was specifying when we first spoke about the need for Oceanus12 to operate in all conditions, totally unmanned and with accurate and reliable positioning for diverse marine applications, even within potentially congested waterways such as offshore wind environments.

“Having worked with Matthew and the team on previous projects, such as the fully autonomous Atlantic crossing on the Mayflower, we are certain of its success.”

Oceanus12 has been specifically designed as a versatile platform, with a very wide range of potential applications from surveys and monitoring of critical assets to safety. These include, for instance, geophysical surveying and mapping, offshore oil & gas exploration, renewables exploration and maintenance, through to border control, fisheries science, and defence.

Dan Hook (pictured, right), CEO of RAD Propulsion, said: “Our RAD 40 electric drive system with RADBus architecture makes the ideal partner for this brand new USV. Our team has a strong heritage in advanced marine robot boats for the offshore industry, defence and oceanographic sectors, we are delighted to be working with Zero USV on this project and look forward to seeing it on the water this autumn.”