The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced the procurement of six Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV) for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). These small, remotely controlled, underwater robots will be provided by Aurora ROV Systems Ltd. of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, at a cost of approximately $1.66 million.
“This contract award demonstrates the ability of Nova Scotian businesses to compete with the best technologies in the world and provide the men and women of the Canadian Forces with the equipment they need to do their work,” said Minister MacKay. “This is a win-win scenario whereby Canadian coastlines are better protected and Canadian business grows.”
“Our Government is committed to providing our men and women in uniform the best possible equipment they need to do their jobs at home and abroad,” said Minister Ambrose. “This is great news for the local economy in Halifax, and we are pleased to be able to draw from Canadian expertise for this project.”
Using the ROVs, the Canadian Forces (CF) are able to see and operate to depths of 950 meters below the water line. Specific examples of uses include locating aircraft lost at sea, and retrieving the aircraft’s ‘black box.’ The ROVs are also able to retrieve objects jettisoned by smugglers, inspect suspicious objects (naval mines, mine-like objects or otherwise), deliver ordnance that can destroy naval mines, and survey the bottom hulls of ships.
Two of the same model of ROV were used in Operation Nunalivut 2012, a major sovereignty and security operation that occurred in Canada’s high Arctic. The Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) ROV pilots, as part of the exercise, used the two ROVs to explore and probe the bottom of the Northwest Passage, 805 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The ROV units explored the shipwreck H.M.S. Breadalbane, a merchant ship that sank in 1853.
Subsea World News Staff , June 08, 2012; Image: Aurora ROV