Under the seaHafmynd sells two GAVIA AUVs to undisclosed militaries

Published 10 January 2007

Icelandic firm a leader — ask Frost and Sullivan — in autonomous underwater vehicles; U.S. Navy SPAWAR just one previous customer for this disruptive technology; vehicle’s sensor flexibility a major selling point

The Republic of Iceland is not a martial nation — NATO protection should be good enough for anyone, we think — but it is a technically savvy one, and terrorism is a major concern despite the country’s geographic isolation. (Fun fact: the country’s counter-terrorism unit is known colloquially as Víkingasveitin, or Viking Squad.) Moreover, a small but potent defense industry has developed in Iceland, and, not surprisingly, maritime technology is a major focus of attention. Take, for example, Reykjavik-based Hafmynd hf, a developer of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). This week the company announced it had sold two of its GAVIA AUVs to two undisclosed militaries.

The company would not say more than to describe the first of the purchasers as the defense research agency of a non-European country and the other as a European navy. Nevertheless, it is known that the U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR), the University of British Columbia, and the National Research Council of Canada have been previous customers, and Hafmynd is reasonably proud of its success. “We have demonstrated GAVIA to potential clients around the world during the last 12 months, for use in commercial, military, security and research missions” says Torfi Thorhallsson general manager of Hafmynd. “We expect to see further sales in the coming year to security and defense customers who appreciate GAVIA’s unique combination of multi-mission capabilities and affordability.”

The strengths of the GAVIA AUV are its flexibility, ease of use, and cost — not to mention its ability to dive down to 2000 metres. Man-portable, it can be assembled in minutes and quickly configured using GAVIA’s unique QuickLock system for a wide-range of research, surveying, and monitoring tasks. (This is a strong selling point because constomers face an easy task of upgrading and incorporating emerging technologies.) In addition, ultra-high accuracy GPS/INS navigation and 3-D side-scan sonar allow advanced surveying and precise positioning beyond the capabilities of competing systems today.

The system, we should point out, won the 2006 Frost and Sullivan Disruptive Solution award — a clear sign that this AUV is one of the best in class. Here is what Frost and Sullivan had to say at the time:

In a market where security options for seaports and critical off-shore infrastructure have remained static labour-intensive solutions for over two decades, or have been expensive AUV development programmes carrying inherent risk, the GAVIA solution fills an important gap in the market. It is not only disrupting the competitive position of other suppliers, but is also generating a real demand-pull due to its mission capabilities and affordability.”

-read more in this company news release