Columbia Group to Supply Pluto Plus UUVs to Egyptian Navy
The Columbia Group, a small business based in Washington, DC received a $10.6 million firm-fixed-price contract to provide 3 Pluto Plus unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV), associated technical support and training to the Egyptian Navy under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The Pluto Plus system is a remotely operated UUV intended primarily for military use in mine identification and destruction.
DID has more on the Pluto Plus system…
The battery operated Pluto Plus carries a set of specialized sensors ranging from TV cameras to sonar. It is propelled by electrical thrusters and is linked to the surface by an umbilical cable. On the surface, the pilot operates a remote control console and receives information to navigate the vehicle and identify underwater objects. Its low acoustic and magnetic signatures allow it to get close to mines for inspection, and, if necessary, destruction.
There are currently over 150 Pluto Plus systems in service with navies around the world. The outfitting of the Egyptian Navy minehunters will be the newest navy to acquire these systems. The Columbia Group is the exclusive U.S. licensee to build these systems in the United States, under license from GayRobot of Italy.
Columbia Group will perform the work in Panama City, FL (51%) and Milan, Italy (49%) and expects to complete it by December 2011. The contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Sea Systems Command at the Washington Navy Yard in DC (N00024-09-C-4214).