Press release 20 May 2024

20 May, 2024

Bryna Simmons

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Sale of two Bluebottle USVs to the USA and collaboration with ThayerMahan

Royal Australian Navy (RAN) officially accepts sixth Bluebottle BB706

Hon Matt Thistlethwaite Special Guest for the announcement and handover


Group photo of those attending todays event

Today Ocius announced the sale of two Bluebottle USVs to the USA for AUD2.4M and the signing of a Teaming Agreement with well-respected US Defence Prime contractor ThayerMahan to collaborate on the development of its Outpost System on Ocius’ Bluebottle USVs.

Also today, Royal Australian Navy personnel officially accepted delivery of their sixth RAN Bluebottle, designated BB706.

On hand as our Special Guest was Hon Matt Thistlethwaite, Assistant Minister for Defence, Assistant Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Assistant Minister for the Republic and local Federal Member for our Randwick facility.


At the end of April 2024 off San Diego, Ocius demonstrated two Bluebottle USVs with well-respected US Company ThayerMahan. Bluebottle BONNIE operated in San Diego Harbour participating in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) exercises and Bluebottle BETH operated 15NM off the coast carrying a ThayerMahan Outpost passive array system. The Outpost system on BETH’s keel winch was deployed to variable significant depths with on-board processing and communications live back to base. This was all done in a sustainable manner using renewable energy for five days achieving a successful results-driven demonstration.

As a result, ThayerMahan, is buying both Bluebottles for $AUD2.4M and with Ocius contracted support will be putting them to work off Connecticut for marine mammal monitoring and demonstrating the capability to US customers.


Hon Matt Thistlethwaite said "Ocius is a great example of the ingenuity and cooperation of industry, academia and defence working together. Ocius’ business based in Randwick is partnering with UNSW to deliver innovative uncrewed maritime surveillance vessels for the Royal Australian Navy and the safety of Australia.”

Robert Dane, Ocius CEO said “Both companies share a mutual love of technology and the sea and have complementary proven products. Recently, in San Diego, engineers from both companies worked as a team to combine ThayerMahan's TRL8 (-9) Outpost system with our TRL8 (-9) Bluebottle USVs.”

We thank the Australian Government, and its defence innovation programs and the RAN from the Chief of Navy down. We are especially grateful to DSTG and Royal Australian Navy Warfare Innovation Branch, now called Maritime Integrated Systems, for their visionary work over the last nine years testing and evaluating our capability. We have undertaken different Concepts of Operations (CONOPs) and surveillance payloads to make the Bluebottle USV a reliable and effective product.”

Robert added “We’d especially like to thank Austrade for their professional support overseas. The recent Sea Air and Space Expo in Washington was our first foray into the USA market and has culminated in immediate sales to the USA.”

Mike Connor CEO of ThayerMahan said “Our collaboration with Ocius has been tremendous. Combining our proven Outpost acoustic sensing system with Bluebottle’s impressive manoeuvrability, functionality, and payload capacity enables us to maximize the performance of our scalable, autonomous surveillance systems. Among other features, the Bluebottle’s ability to harness wind, wave and solar energy and its integrated keel winch are game changers. Together, we will provide AUKUS nations with unprecedented maritime domain awareness, on and below the ocean’s surface, preserving their advantage in a changing and uncertain world."

Royal Australian Navy Commodore Mick Turner said “Navy has supported the development of the Bluebottle Uncrewed Surface Vessel in Australia and now the San Diego demonstration. This sale to the USA is validation of our collaboration with Ocius and the Defence Science and Technology Group in developing this capability. The Bluebottle USV developed by Ocius is proving to be a game changer.”

DSTG Chief of Platforms Dr Greg Bain said“Working with Ocius on R&D has been a collaborative experience, and the Bluebottles have enabled us to rapidly prototype and deploy our maritime autonomy and communications capabilities through sea trials on an adaptable, cost-effective platform”.

AUSTRADE’s Anamika Mishra said “We’ve been working with Ocius for a couple of years, and it is extremely rewarding to see Australian capability recognised in competitive global markets. We congratulate Ocius on achieving its first international sale following Sea Air Space, the Team Defence Australia led trade mission to Washington earlier this year.”

UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Attila Brungs said “We’ve seen Ocius go from four people in a lab to now 40 people, most of whom are UNSW alumni. This is a great success story of industry, academia and Defence working together.”

Investment NSW Industry and Investment Executive Director Maroun El Khoury said “It’s fantastic to see this agreement from Ocius come to fruition, and we’re proud to have helped expand their reach and engagement through tradeshows and industry introductions over the years. Their growth is a great example of what can be achieved through collaboration between academia, industry and government in the creation of highly skilled jobs.”

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From L – R ThayerMahan team Bob Rapoport, Kevin Lopes, and Mike Connor CEO and Ocius team Robert Dane CEO, Nick Rozenauers, Peter Wlodarczyk and Ian Milliner

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Bluebottle BONNIE San Diego Harbour at sunset ANZAC Day 2024. USS Carl Vinson in background.

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Hon Pat Conroy Minister for Defence Industry and Ocius CEO Robert Dane at Sea Air Space Expo Washington.

Press and Media:

Ocius Technology Ltd

Ian Milliner Business Development Manager Ocius Technology Ltd

+61 419 045 072


Dr. Kevin Lopes

VP, Marketing, ThayerMahan, Inc.

+1 860 287 3563 M +61 419 045 072


Media Contact: | +612 9392 2837

CMDR, Scott Voyzey RAN

Activity Manager, USV/UUV

Maritime Integrated Systems

Navy Headquarters | Maritime Integrated Systems

Bld 30, Fleet Base East | GIDP | Potts Point Sydney 2000

M: 0400 011076 |