Marine survey contractor Argeo has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Kongsberg for a purchase agreement for three additional Hugin autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). With the purchase, Argeo said it will have the world’s most advanced AUV fleet.
Argeo plans to purchase two Hugin Superior AUVs and one Hugin 6000 AUV, with the first Hugin Superior scheduled for delivery in early Q4 2023, the second in Q1 2024, and the full scope delivery set to be finalized with the Hugin 6000 in Q1 2025.
The company’s AUV fleet will thus consist of a total of seven units by 2025, serving the marine minerals, oil & gas and renewables segments.
“Following this expansion, Argeo will have the most advanced AUV fleet worldwide,” said Argeo’s CEO, Trond Crantz.
“The introduction of these highly advanced AUVs from Kongsberg, with Argeo’s advanced sensors systems integrated is a strategic move that propels us ahead of the competition. With this purchase, Argeo will be the leading commercial player with the Hugin Superiors in its fleet and these additions are significantly enhancing our operational capacity and reaffirming our industry leadership.”
The purchase is fully financed through a lease agreement with an international financing partner and has a lease term of four years. The total financing deal size is $25 million and is subject to Argeo’s board approval and final signing.
Both the Hugin Superior and the Hugin 6000 will be equipped with Argeo’s sensor systems including the patented electromagnetic systems Argeo LISTEN and Argeo WHISPER.
For the Hugin Superior, the Kongsberg HISAS 1032 Dual Rx synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) doubles the area coverage from 500 meters of previous systems up to a 1,000-meter range in the same high-resolution imagery and bathymetry data products, Argeo said, explaining that this allows one of its new Superiors to acquire a total of 4.5km2 per hour of operation – a total of 108 km2 per 24 hours.