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Anduril to Open Underwater Drone Factory in Rhode Island

California drone developer Anduril Industries will establish a new center in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, to increase its Dive-LD autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) production.

The factory will cover up to 150,000 square feet (13,935 square meters) and will include dedicated service bays, testing laboratories, and additional spaces to accommodate lifecycle tasks from research through sustainment.

The center is expected to boost the assembly of Dive-LD’s family of AUVs to more than 200 annually and create over 100 jobs within the first five years of its launch in 2025.

“We are thrilled to build a state-of-the-art production manufacturing facility for our LD family of vehicles in Quonset Point. Affordable, distributed mass is a central tenet of undersea deterrence and we look forward to supporting large-scale, cost-effective AUV deployments with our new facility,” Anduril Industries SVP Shane Arnott said.

“Our Maritime Division continues to develop advanced undersea capabilities and, with large contract awards both in the United States and Australia, we are committed to the mass manufacturing of those proven capabilities at speed and at scales that matter.”

US Navy LDUUV Contract

The announcement follows Anduril’s selection under the Defense Innovation Unit’s prototyping effort to develop Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicles for the US Navy.

The project involved a “swim-off” competition and was followed by an $18.6-million order for Anduril’s Dive AUVs.

“Over the last 6 months, the US Navy, in partnership with DIU and Congress, has driven an aggressive program timeline to put vendors on contract, acquire capabilities, and rapidly demonstrate those capabilities with warfighters,” Anduril Industries Director Nick Stoner said.

“This contract is a fantastic example of how the US Navy can incentivize industry to make capital investments and produce the kinds of undersea asymmetric advantages our Fleet Commanders need, on the timelines they need them.”

Anduril’s ‘Reliable, Flexible’ System

Dive-LD is a 3-ton system designed for seafloor missions down to 6,000 meters (19,700 feet).

It is built with a 3D-printed chassis to sustain buoyancy and support user configurations. It has a speed of up to 7 knots (13 kilometers/8 miles per hour), a survey range of up to 313 nautical miles (360 miles/580 miles), and up to 10 days of autonomous, long-endurance deployment.

“Dive-LD is foundational to Anduril’s maritime capabilities for commercial and defense applications,” Anduril Chief Strategy Officer Chris Brose explained during the recent US Navy competition.

“By combining proven subsea vehicle development expertise with advanced manufacturing processes, the platform is quick to produce, economical to manufacture and service, simple to customize, and robust in operation.”

“Dive-LD is the most reliable and flexible AUV on the market today, capable of rapidly integrating complex payloads or multi-sensor suites to provide advanced capability for a wide range of missions.”

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